Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mr. Intendant

Erin came home from school on Monday and told me how special her class is. It seems they had spent the entire day practicing their very best behavior and getting their routine just predictable perfect in preparation for a visitor on Tuesday: The Superintendent!

My sweet 2nd grader informed me that this man, some important guy, comes to each school once every year, and visits 3 classrooms. He was coming to her room tomorrow because they are the lucky winners very BEST! He would also visit a 5th grade, because they are the oldest and a kindergarten because they are little and cute, she figures, and people always like the little kids, ya know. But the principal, she came to Erin's class and said she picked them for the visit because they are just THE BEST! Gee, I am sure the teacher was not thrilled......

Anyway, her teacher, Mrs. M. spent most of the day getting them ready. Reminding them of their manners, exactly how they were to behave, what they would do when he came... yadda, yadda, yadda. She was so excited for this great honor being bestowed upon her humble yet fabulous class.

After school on Tuesday, when Erin arrived home, I asked about her day.

"Well, Mr. Intendant came and it is was great! He was there with another guy, but he didn't introduce himself. That was rude."

???? Mr. Intendant???? "Who, honey?

"You know, Super Intendant, mommy. I told you all about him coming yesterday. It was cool; I got to tell him about my biography person but he didn't know much about Helen Keller so I had to tell him all about her."

Oh Shit.Interesting.

"You didn't tell him any of the jokes you got from google about Helen Keller, did you?"

"No, just some interesting facts."

Good. She does have a bit of a brain filter.

I hope you enjoyed your visit to second grade, Mr. Intendant.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Emptying My Brain....

Something is wrong with a group of 8th graders walking down the hall shouting out words like "estrogen! fallopian tube! testicles!" and no adult questioning it. Remind me to stay away from the health class rooms from now on.

Picking Haley up from school this week, I zipped her coat up too high (she hates that). When she started complaining that she didn't like this coat, I offered to help her unzip it if she gave me a kiss. The following conversation took place:

"Mommy. I DO NOT like this coat! The zipper goes up to high on my little neck and it is most uncomfortable!"
"No honey, I zipped it up so high so you would need help and I could get an extra kiss from you. I did it on pore-piss (sometimes I say things wrong just to be funny. I am one of those moms)
"Mommy! It is on purpose! Don't say porpoise or you have to go to speech!"
But I did get my extra kiss.

I made chicken chili for dinner. It was very yummy. I made enough to feed a small village in South America. For just the girls and I. I have cooking issues.

Haley drank most of hers through a straw. Then she picked out all the beans and ate them first. Then she ate the chicken. Kids are not supposed to like chili. She ate her weight worth of it. It was hot and spicy, too.

Erin liked it and ate her fair share. About half an hour later she was helping me clean up the kitchen when she said, "Mom, I gotta go to the bathroom. The chili is kicking in."


"I think my digestive system needs to empty out. This could take a while."
She is going to hate me when she realizes I posted that, but it was so damn funny.

Why was Haley complaining in February of her coat? Why is she not used to it by now? Funny you should ask. Because this past weekend, she decided to wear a sweatshirt and her vest one day and left her winter coat at home. It must have been left in an "unsafe" place because the dogs got to it. Yes, the tag team of mass destruction. The mantra "Release The Stuffing" apparently applies to coats as well since this is the 3rd winter coat eaten by my dogs in 2 years. She is now wearing one of Erin's old coats. and it feels like hugging a marshmallow when you squeeze her in it.

Every day when I walk into the family room, Haley is watching TV. upside down. On her head. She likes the view that way.

Erin is doing her biography report on Helen Keller. She will tell you that Helen Keller was deaf, blind and dumb. Not the kind of dumb where you are stupid, like our dogs, just the kind of dumb where you can't talk. That is different. Then she will proceed to tell you how daddy told her to google Helen Keller jokes. She learned some lousy good ones.

How did Helen Keller burn her face?
She answered the iron?

How did Helen Keller play the piano?
She proceeds to make piano motions with one hand and then uses her other hand to make open-close mouth motions to imitate singing.

Thanks, daddy. That was not at all helpful.

After spending a half hour every day in the cafeteria on 7th grade lunch duty, I have a complete and comprehensive understanding of why wild animals eat their young. They don't want them to become adolescents.

My mother is sewing a quilt. She was doing this in front of Erin. Erin is now trying to sew everything in sight. Ira had a hole in his jeans and was going to throw them away. It is an unrepairable hole, truly. Erin decided she can "fix" it. Little girl actually took needle and thread to the jeans and sewed the hole. When Ira put them on they ripped from here to kingdom come. Erin thinks she has a lot of work to do now to fix that.... An entire leg has now come off of this pair of jeans and my 8 year old is going to repair it with a spool of white thread and a scrapbook needle I use on paper.

Pictures will follow....

Haley is not allowed to bring meat to school for lunch. We have told her we found special veggie and soy "kosher chicken nuggets" that are allowed. Ok, they are veggie nuggets. She loves them. She eats them. Yesterday was the first day in about 4 months that she ate lunch that did not consist of PB & J. Yahoo. I will lie to my child if it opens up my options for packing lunches. Sue me.

Ira ordered new treats for the dogs. Cow Tracheas. ack, gag, ugh Yum. They gave Izzy such bad gas I was actually nauseous. I had to remove her from the room. It was toe curling, stomach churning, nose-hair-burnin, napalm dropping gas. I think I just threw up a little in my mouth thinking about it, it was that bad. On the good side, there is apparently a lot of chondroitin and glucosomine or something like that in tracheas which is good for joint strength and since Rufus has that bum knee, this is good. If they don't stink us out of house and home.

I think we will save those treats for when they are at the kennel?

Ok. I feel better.

Have a lovely day.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cops are People Too

Tuesdays are our crazy night. Haley has Cheer-tumble (cheerleading & gymnastics combo class) from 5:20-6:20 and Erin is at Hebrew school until 6:30. I literally scoop Haley up from her class, toss her sweats and shoes on and run out the door, drive like a crazy lunatic quick, safe, responsible mother, from gym to Temple to grab the other child and by then... dinner is something we need fast!

So, to Saladworks we go, rather than the traditional McDonald's, in an attempt to be healthy. {snort}yeah, cause pouring ranch dressing over the bacon and cheese on your salad really makes it healthy....

But, I digress....

So, as we stand in line, the girls are 9 kinds of cranky and getting on each other's last nerves. Expected, since they have been together for exactly 6 minutes so far today. While arguing over salad toppings it gets to the point where, glancing at the 2 uniformed police officers behind us in line, I make this statement:

"If you two don't stop this behavior this minute, I am going to be forced to beat you right here, in public, in front of police officers, who will then have to arrest me and put me in jail. Then you will be orphans for the rest of tax season because daddy works all the time. I would stop this RIGHT NOWif I were you and start listening to mommy and getting along with each other THIS MINUTE!!!!"

I don't know about the family status of those two guys, but I swear I saw a smirk from them before they glared at me and my kids.

The good glare too. the real stink eye. The same one I give my middle school students. The one that scares them solid.

The girls offered politely to go wash their hands then and fix our drinks.

Half way through dinner (at the table next to aforementioned officers, I am no dummy) Erin pulls a rock out of her coat pocket that she found on the playground. After they investigate it, she decides they have to go wash their hands again because it was from under the dirt. While they are in the bathroom, I hear a scream. I quietly continue munching my salad and disregard. Officer #1 leans over and says to me, "I have 2 little ones at home. Need me to pull my gun and run into the bathroom?"

I think I love that man.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


No, it wasn't my first day back to work after an extended maternity leave. But close. It is just an ordinary Tuesday after a 3 day weekend. I wasn't happy about getting up, but who ever is happy about getting up on a cold morning when bed is warm and cozy, if not somewhat crowded?

When I got out of the shower I heard a paniced "Mommy!" and a little whining. It was Haley. I went in to see her and she was distraught. "Don't ever leave me mommy!" she cried all over me. God, that just broke my heart. I promised her I would come snuggle her before I went to work, and I had to go get dressed. (I was wrapped in a towel, how could she miss that?)

So, I got dressed, dried my hair, put on some make-up and readied myself for school. I went down stairs to feed the beasts dogs and make a cup of coffee when I hear the paniced scream "MOMMY! Mommy, where ARE you!?"

This was serious.

I ran upstairs and there is my poor child, my baby, in tears, sobbing that I had left her. That I had not come in to hug her goodbye. Sobbing. Heart wrenching gut-sobs. The kind that make her entire little body shake.

"Mommy, don't ever leave me, I love you too much."

and I had to settle her down with the Wonder Pets and go to work.

So, as stated earlier, I had indeed put on some make-up this morning, and done my hair as well. Yeah, most of that was cried, rubbed and snotted off on the way to school as I sobbed and snotted all over myself.

Sometimes it sucks to be the mom.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Wonderful Day

Under normal circumstances, I fear spending too much time alone with my kids. without other adults. being in charge.

Today was not one of those days.

Thanks to the help of some friends and my parents and well timed playdates, I got to spend a little time alone with each girl this weekend. That is a rarity during tax season. They are so much easier to appreciate one-on-one. We get to have that individual alone time that you don't get when you are the single mom because dad is working 7 days a week. It was awesome.

Today, my nephew Jake was here to play and hang out with us. We ran some errands together and just hung out. Did you know that for less than $10 you can by a complete lunch for 4 people, including dessert, at BJ's? They played at AC Moore, played outside, went to the park, I did some laundry. It was a great afternoon.

I just met my sister to drop Jake off, and now I am home with my girls. We are all watching Mama Mia that I picked up from Blockbuster, eating popcorn and having a grand old President's Day.

Sometimes, I really love being home with my girls, just the 3 of us. Right now is one of those times.

Friday, February 13, 2009

I So Suck.

I done it this time. Today was Erin's Valentine's Day Party. Her school is closed tomorrow for a teacher inservice day, so the festivities were today. and I forgot. We didn't make any cards or little treat bags for her to bring in for her classmates. Everyone else in her class got to walk around and put their envelopes in the made-for-the-occasion pink and red decorated gift bags except my little girl. She was the only one in the class without any thing to give out. I screwed up big time. It just slipped my mind. She is only in 2nd grade, and I am so upset that my baby missed out on something. She was in a Jewish daycare/kindergarten for the 1st 6 years of her life and didn't have Valentine's parties, so I am making up for lost time here and I blew it.

She took it pretty well and was completely fine. One of the other girls ended up being out sick, so Erin got to hand out her cards...but still... I feel like the worst-mother-in-the-world. I am the mother other mothers talk about. The little Indian boy, well his mom apparently also forgot, and he brought in plain white security envelopes with 2 quarters in it and just his "from John Doe" on the outside. If I hadn't forgotten cards, I would so be talking smack about that kid. Yeah, I am worse than that even. Mother of the Year for 2009 is over for me. Looks like I have to wait until 2010 to try again.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What they say about daddy.....

We were in the car on our way home from gymnastics. The girls were complaining that they are missing daddy and tax season is soooo looooong..... I know, I feel the pain. But I try to acknowledge and move on, not downplay or linger, so...

"Girls, why don't we make a list of all the things we can about daddy that we miss when he isn't home?"

Here are some of the things they came up with, in no particular order, God's honest truth, all on their own. I will have to scrap this....

He makes the best hot cocoa

He remembers to sleep with a T-shirt on. (They hate to sneak in and snuggle a hairy chest!)

He is the best torturer!

He fixes things good. Well mostly. After he breaks them.
He is annoying.

He is a good snuggler.

He buys us candy.
He is fun.

He is the best daddy when he isn't torturing us.

He is good with animals. Except Miss Piggy. (our Guinea Pig) And sometimes Izzy and Rufus. (our dogs) But he loves them so the torture part doesn't count too much.

Its fun when he drives crazy as long as he doesn't hit other cars and get yelled at like that one time with the crazy lady.

He makes popcorn and lets us eat it on your (mommy's) side of the bed when you are away!

He does cold water torture when we are in the bath.

He is good at Math (I sure hope so!)

He plays the games on the menus when we go out to eat.

He doesn't have an itchy face.

He takes us to the movies and lets us eat candy even when mommy says no.

He says if he has to have girls, he is going to spoil them and that even means mommy. (I like that one particularly!)

I want to add something to this list myself.

He remembers to plug my phone in to charge at night after I go to bed.
He empties the dishwasher even when I don't ask him.
If I cook something and leave it out to cool, he wraps it up and puts it in the fridge when I forget about it.
And he is an awesome snuggler.

Hurry up, April 15th. We need our daddy back.
We love you.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Funny things my kids said this week....

Haley: Mommy, your shirt
is so beautiful! It is so
beautiful because it is made
of sheep

Haley: Mommy, that man is
lawn mowing his snow!
Me: Its a snowblower, honey.
Erin: My spanish teacher
is from Peru. They have
That's how they cut their grass.
Me: Oh.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Mushy, Lovey & Full of Gratitude.....{Not What I Started, But I like Where it Went}

Last weekend.. or was it 2 weeks ago? either way.. I went away with my girlfriends for a scrapbook weekend. I know, I know, DORKY! But it's what we do. It was the Scrapbookers Anonymous Getaway run by my friend Lisa and her friend Laura. It was an all inclusive weekend with your room, food, scrapbook space... just awesome! The best part of the deal?

Time with my friends.

I don't know why I am so blessed. I certainly don't deserve all this. Having these friends makes my life so much fuller. We get together 4 times a year for a girls weekend and the pretense of scrapping. I am an artsy-creative person, and this is my outlet. When we go away, it gives me the freedom to just create, to express myself, to be messy and not clean up and just accomplish things. It feeds my creative soul. I relish the chance to just be.

More than that, it connects me to some of the most important women in my life. We call ourselves "The Black Sheep". It was kind of a funny and completely innocent story that ended up getting us in trouble(well, me mostly for some reason, as usual, even though I don't think I was the one to coin it, and it came mostly from a passing comment someone made, and then someone else found this extremely cute sweatshirt on line and we wanted to get something warm...but I digress). So, now we "Flock" and make stupid sheep jokes (and lots of jokes, mostly very inappropriate jokes which use very bad language that you wouldn't believe I say in front of my mother, except she is one of the biggest offenders and curses even more than I do! There I go digressing again...) and we wear slippers and flannel pants for 3 days and scrap and eat Twizzlers and Diet Pepsi and Cheetos (but only the crunchy kind and only with a nose picker which is really a scrap book tool.. whole other story though)and have matching sweatshirts and T-shirts and buy way too much stuff just because someone else has it.

We stay up until 3:00 in the morning or later. Some of sleep in, some of us don't. I won't mention who does or doesn't shower. We pack heavy, eat bad, and laugh until we cry or splurt some type of beverage from our noses. We say the dumbest stuff that is hysterical at the moment, and then insist on writing it down to remember later because really, who could possibly come up with some of this stuff? But truthfully, we just want to preserve the time we spend together and make that laughter last a little longer. We always get little presents for each other, we blog, we email, and every time I see a sheep, anyplace, any time, I smile. I smile because it makes me think of them, how much fun we have on our weekends and just how much I love each and every one of them.

There is Bonnie and Amy, sisters I have known since we were kids through our moms. We hadn't seen each other in years and then sort of renewed our friendship as adults. Chris and Aubree, I met through our children in one way or another. Lisa and I had a mutual group of acquaintances that we scrapped with and just kind of clicked. All of these girls and I just sort of work somehow. Not easy for a large group of women to do. They are no nonsense, honest, loyal, fun, kind, and accept me for what I am without any reservations. This is the best you can get in a friend.

And then, the last, of this group, I have known since the day I was born. My mom. If I scrap, she scraps. If I was going away and having fun, well, then she had to go too. She fits right in and laughs right along with the rest of us. I love that I get to share this with her. I came very close to losing my mom a few years ago, so I treasure each day with her. I have to make sure that we get to create as many memories and fun times as possible while she is here so that I can hold them in my heart when she isn't some day. And when that day comes, not for a long time I hope, I know my sheepy friends will be there to help me through it. That, my friends is cool on a completely whole other level.

So as you can see, the 7 of us are a hodge-podge of people. They call me the glue of the group, since I am the common connection that brought us all together. I think of them as the glue that holds me together sometimes. We go away once each season. Come hell or high water, I need my sheep to flock. They ground me. They accept me. They know me. They know I can be a bitch, they know I am not always the easiest of people, the most likable of people, and yet, for some strange reason, they love me anyway. I am not sure how they do it, but they see the good in me. Everyone has days when they feel like the world is against you. When other people are all good at pointing out your faults, your weaknesses, the mistakes you made, and the choices you should have chosen. Sometimes, when I have a hard time seeing the good in myself, I think of them. Sometimes that is all it takes to make the day a little brighter.

So here is to you, my friends.
Thanks for liking me just the way I am.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


You know who my husband and I envy? Seriously? Separated parents. We had this conversation.

Him: You know, so-and-so only has her kids every other weekend. She gets alternate weekends off when they go to their dads.

Me: Nuh Uh! SHUT UP!

Him: Yup. She gets to sleep in, do whatever, go out on dates and doesn't have to get any sitters. The schedule is set for like 6 months ahead so planning is easy.

Me: That is so cool. I mean, a parent is like the best babysitter EVER! Wanna get separated?

Him: Yeah! That would be awesome! Think about all the stuff we could get done on the weekends we don't have the kids!

Me: What would you do?

Him: Oh, I don't know, stuff around the house, go to a movie and dinner, you know, things we never have time for.

Me: Me too. I would love to stay out late, see a double feature, know we didn't have to get up Sunday and do all the parent stuff. Even running errands and grocery shopping is easier when you don't have to answer to anyone. Only one problem.

Him: What?

Me: On my weekend, I would want to go out with you, and you would have the kids.

Him: Oh. Yeah. Well, I could go out with you on my weekends?

Me: Nope, I would have the kids. One of us would still need to find a babysitter.

Him: Oh. That sucks. Guess we should just stay married.

Me: Yeah. Suppose so.

Twenty Years together folk, and we are sticking it out. because it is too hard. to find. good. sitters.

True Love.

There Were 6 in the Bed and the Little One said.....

..."I don't have any room, here.". Yeah, me either. Go to your own bed, kid. How can we have 6 when we are a family of 4 you ask? Are we taking in random strangers from the street to keep them warm?

No, we are not.

If we did, I would at least make them sleep on the couch, anyway. I have some rules, you know.

The 6 I speak of are as follows:
85 pound snoring dog.
50 pound farting dog.
8 year old daughter.
5 year old daughter.
That makes 6.
and 2 of them do NOT belong.
They are stow-away sleepers that sneak in during the night and creep up from the bottom of the bed, searching for a little crack or crevice to snuggle into.

When I went to bed, around 10:00 I had the whole king size bed to myself. All the pillows. All the blankets. So lovely. Shortly after that, Rufus, the snoring dog, joined me. This was good. I was cold. He is warm. We drifted off together. The best part about sleeping with Rufus, is that he offers me some protection. You see, my husband is a Blanket Thief. He first takes all the covers by rolling them around himself when he gets cold. Sort of a cocoon, if you will. To be expected when he turns the heat down to 40 degrees and the ceiling fan on to turbo speed. Whatever.... I have learned to keep an extra blanket on my side for such emergencies. Always be prepared, and all that.

Now, his cocoon gets too warm, so he then tosses his blankets (which started out as my blanket) on the floor on his side of the bed. Our room, due to his temperature regulations and fan controls, is arctic tundra like. So he gets cold. Again. And he steals my second emergency set of blankets. This can go on all night with as many sets of blankets as I stock up on. He will steal pillows as well. Right out from under my sleeping head. Because it's not like I was using it or something. In the morning, I have not one cover, and he is cocooned up like a bug-in-a-rug with a pile of discards 4 feet high on his side of the bed.

I so love my husband as my frostbitten extremities are sloughing off on my way to the shower since I wake up almost 2 hours before him and the heat isn't even on yet.

Enter Rufus, the farting 85 pound boxer. He gets in bed. He insists on placing himself directly next to me. in the middle. on top of the blankets. You ever try to steal blankets with an 85 lb dead weight on them? Yeah, not so easy. Then, add Izzy who sneaks in during the middle of the night, at 50 lbs. Those blankets are going NOWHERE BABY! I am warm, and victorious! Muhahahahahaha! {that is my evil laugh. I am The Beast Master!} Ok, so I have to sleep with ear plugs and a gas mask, but some times a victory has its costs.

Now, we have become accustomed to this battle of the boxers each night. Ira comes to bed, drags them where they need to be, and no longer steals my covers. But the bed is full, there is no room at the Inn. Maximum capacity has been reached.

I woke up this morning. There was something on my head. It was another head. It was a very warm, fury and possibly drooling head. It was a very heavy head. There was a very small body, belonging to my 5 year old daughter, to my right, next to my alarm clock. She had some sharp bony appendage in my ribs. Another pair of bony parts was in the middle of my thigh. My legs were land-locked from another dog. and I had no covers.

***{Disclaimer: This picture is from Google. As much time as my dogs spend in my bed, they see the camera and they get all excited and jump out. They will not stay for a picture. Plus, my boxers are much cuter. Sorry if these are your dogs or something.}

Monday, February 2, 2009

Daddy is just SOOOOOO Proud!

We were ready. Super Bowl Sunday folks, and the chips are dippin, the wings are spicy, the hoagies, well, hoagie-ing?

We are all systems GO! 6:00 comes, we have the T.V. on, our 3-D glasses all punched out and lined up, my sister-in-law has made her football shaped cut-out sugar cookies. Can't have a The Super Bowl without them. The players take the field. Faith Hill sings. We see the crew of flight 1549 take the field to be honored for their actions on the Hudson river landing last week.

How fabulous was Jenifer Hudson singing the National Anthem? I stood with pride listening to her honor our country, right there in my kitchen.

Game time, folks, we are READY!

Kick-off comes and goes and it is officially Super Bowl XLIII
Kids all wander into the kitchen to fix a plate.

My 8 year old daughter glances up at the television and says "That's The Super Bowl? I thought it was supposed to be about BOWLING!"

Daddy was so proud.

Kid doesn't get out much, I guess.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Calling all...... Well...everybody!

My daughter's 2nd grade class is doing a project. They are collecting postcards from all over the world, hopefully. They have asked the kids to ask everyone they know to send them a post card so they can mark the location on the map. The kids mostly know people on the East Coast. Boooo-rinnnnnnggggg.

So... mommy thinks global.

That is where you, dear Internet, come in.

If you would be so kind, and are interested in helping a second grade class out (and not like that email where you add your name to a chain and forward to everyone you know) then do me a favor.

Get or print out a postcard that shows something from your neck of the woods. City, state, province, anything regional. If you are computer savvy, jut print out a picture of the "Welcome to My Town" sign! and mail it to my daughter's class at the address below.

Johnson School
c/o Mrs. Murawczyk 2nd grade class
for Erin
500 Kresson Road
Cherry Hill, NJ 08034

Yeah, I am cheating by helping her kick the other kids asses in the "who got the most post cards" contest... I never said I played fair.

This would be a fabulous time for my aunt in CANADA to play along, by the way! Another in Las Vegas, would be good, maybe a cousin in California. I am using you all for your zip code. I will keep you updated as the post cards roll in.

Thanks in advance, all!