Monday, March 30, 2009

I no longer eat Lima Beans.

Yesterday was a fabulous warm sunny spring day. I had my sister's kids for the day while she was moving (I got the easy part of that deal!) so I sent them all outside to play. My oldest came in and was all excited, "Mommy! You have to come outside and see the Lima Beans we found!" It is spring, so I figured it was some kind of seed or pod or whatever. The kids are always finding things like that in the yard. Plus, we had construction last fall, and the yard is a disaster, so there is all kinds of dirt and every thing is all torn up.

Well, I told her to get a cup or bowl or something. I would see it in a little bit, but I know daddy would LOVE to see what they found when he got home from work! I had an 8, 6, 5, and 3 year old all happily entertained. For hours. With Lima Beans. Who was I to question my good fortune?

Around 5:15 or so, Hubby gets home. He comes stomping in the house and yells, "Wheres the damn broom!"


"Hi, honey, nice to see you too? The broom is where it always is. Why?"

"The kids dug up a bowl full of TERMITES and left them in a pile of dirt in the middle of the garage."

Lima Beans
? Yeah, kids? Lima Beans don't move.

Maybe next time they say they found something they are that excited over, mommy should get up off her lazy ass and go take a peek, huh?


But I doubt it.

It is so much more fun to save it for daddy.

and I really don't like bugs.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Why do we even bother?

We built this amazing playroom in the basement. There is an area for toys with huge shelves filled with every birthday and holiday gift they ever opened. A big rug, book shelves, more space for toys, a big play table... the other half has an art table, with plenty of organizers for art supplies, an easel, a sink. Next to that there is a couch with a TV and some pillows & blankets and stuffed animals. It is just PERFECT! I would have loved a place like this as a kid!

We have invested $874, 296 in the back yard. There is a ginormous swing set. With the swings the girls picked and a monkey-bar attachment. The top has a play house, and a rock wall, and a picnic table underneath. Daddy even built the world's most adorable cottage in the yard, put in carpet and painted the walls pink. They have cushions out there, doll house, toys, you name it.

They have more stuff in their rooms. They have a desk full of puzzles and games and art supplies in the family office. Computers with stuff they adore bookmarked as favorites, you name it. I have the world's most entirely spoiled kids on the planet. They have everything a child could possible want and a sister they (most of the time) like to play with to share it all with.

Then why do they spend the majority of their time sitting on the cold, hard concrete of the driveway playing with sidewalk chalk or digging in the dirt in the front yard looking for worms?

I have to admit, though, nothing makes me smile like pulling up to the house and seeing the masterpiece they have created.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Rites of Passage

This weekend I celebrated 3 Rites of Passage.

1) I drove my kids all over the world to different places, activities, picking up something for school, getting new shoes, this one to gymnastics, Hebrew school for that one, dog food, you name it. I am officialy a suburban mom. Hear. Me. Whine. With a coffee. A LOT of coffee.

2) I attended the Bar Mitvah of my dear friends, Ron and Ivy's son. David, I love you. You were wonderful. I especially loved the reception where you told your brother you could only love him more "If his name was Melve so it rhymed with Twelve" so he could come and light the candle with you. Who had the bright idea to give that kid a microphone?

3)My niece Samantha's Quinceanera. Yes, it is a traditional Hispanic celebration of a girl's 15th birthday and becoming a woman. No, we are not traditional, nor are we hispanic. We had a had a party at my house, played Wii and had ice cream cake. and there was Taco dip. And she turned 15. So close enough.

My niece from college, Rachael, was home, so that made it even specialer. And she isn't Hispanic either. But my Gay-Ex-Brother-In-Law-Who-Buys-Rasberry-Balsamic-Vinager-From-The-Christmas-Tree-Store (Cause dude, they don't just sell Christmas Trees!)is Italian, so that is close. As close as Taco dip....and his 95 year old Italian father who kept making sexual inuendos on all the ladies were there. That is is kind of close to Latino, isn't it?

This is my sister, my niece, and myself. You can see how exactly "Non-Latina" we are. Well, we can dance, so maybe we have a little in us.

All were awesome and are just what weekends are about. Not one minute of my weekend could have been better, unless my hubby had been around to share more of it with me.

3 more Sundays until tax season is over.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Driving in NJ

From Sarah, of If I Could Do Something Else I Would
Seriously, there are only two things needed to drive
effectively in NJ: A horn and a middle finger.
Everything else is superfluous, including knowing where you
are going.
For those of you who live in Jersey or have lived there,
these things may come as no surprise. For those who
haven't travelled there before
Beware, Be Prepared and Be Afraid.... Be Very Afraid.

1. You must first learn to pronounce the city name, it is
Nork - rhymes with Fork, not New-ark. Also, Trenton is not
pronounced Tren-ton, it is Tren-tin.

2. The morning rush hour is from 5 AM to NOON. The evening
rush hour is from NOON to 7 PM. Friday's rush hour
starts on Thursday morning.

3. The minimum acceptable speed on the turnpike is 85 mph.
On the parkway it's 105 or 110. Anything less is considered "Sissy." (Just ask the Governor of NJ)

4. Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere. Jersey
has its own version of traffic rules. For example,
cars/trucks with the loudest muffler go first at a four-way
stop; the trucks with the biggest tires go second;
However, in Monmouth and Burlington counties, SUV-driving,
cell phone-talking moms ALWAYS have the right of way.
I like
that one!

5. If you actually stop at a yellow light, you will be rear
ended, cussed out, and possibly shot. (I have witnessed this one,
minus the shooting.)

6. Never honk at anyone. EVER ! Seriously. It's
another offense that can get you shot.

7. Road construction is permanent and continuous in all of
Jersey. Detour barrels are moved around for your
entertainment pleasure during the middle of the night to
make the next day's driving a bit more exciting.

8. Watch carefully for road hazards such as drunks, skunks,
dogs, cats, barrels, cones, Celebes, rubber-neckers, shredded
tires, cell-phoners, deer and other road kill, and the
Homeless feeding on any of these items.

9. MapQuest does NOT work here -- none of the roads are
where they say they are or go where they say they do and all
the Turnpike EZ Pass lanes are moved each night once again
to make your ride more exciting.

10.. If someone actually has their Turn Signal ON, wave them
to the shoulder immediately to let them know it has been
"accidentally activated."

11. If you are in the left lane and only driving 70 in a
55-65mph zone, you are considered a road hazard and will
be "flipped off" accordingly. If you return the
flip, you'll be shot.

12. Do not try to estimate travel time -- just leave Monday
afternoon for Tuesday appointments, by noon Thursday for
Friday appointments, and right after church on Sunday for
anything on Monday morning.

Lastly, there is one driving rule that I would like today,
as witnessed this morning. The first day of spring. There
were snow flurries in the sky. The road was just barely
wet. Drive as though there is 47 inches of snow on
the ground.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Who do you think you are listening to?

Sitting with another mom, talking about our kids. Moms do that. She was telling me how much her son likes to rock out to one of those Disney movie sound tracks: Camp Rock, High School Musical or one of them, I don't even remember. We were laughing about they way the kids make up or misinterpret the words from songs, just how funny it is (Erin thought Carrie Underwood's Before He Cheats on Me was "Before He Eats Cheese on Me" HA!)

Then I mention Haley and Erin rocking out to Gwen Stefani.

She gets this look of disgust on her face. Like I just admitted I peddle my kids on the Internet as child porn.

"I don't allow my children to listen to artists like that. We stay with things like Kidz Bop"

Um, Hello, whose songs do you think they are on Kidz Bop?

Kidz Bop 13 Party Like a Rockstar, anyone?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Lost & Found... exactly where it SHOULDN'T BE!

I am working on this craft project that won't end. and I want it to. The fact that I can't finish it because I keep coming up with these ridiculously labor intensive multi-step pieces that need to dry for 148 hours between each step is a completely different story.

But I digress.

Around the continent, as my husband would say.

I came home today to sneak in an hour before the kids got home on this project.

I went to look for my silver metallic pen that writes on any surface.

I went through 17 drawers, 3 baskets, my school bag, a box of crap and looked in the back yard to see if maybe the dogs got it.

It was on the kids desk.

I needed my brayer (like an ink roller). It wasn't in the drawer where it should be. Or any other logical location.

Kids desk?


What about my specific color fine point blue paint pen?

Fine tip scissors?

Hole punch?

Heat gun, for God's sake?

All on the kids desk.

I am investing in a fricking lock.


Got my dogs back.

Not sure if the steak under my pillow had anything to do with it.

Went to McDonald's for annual Shamrock Shakes last night. Color me yummy.

29 DAYS left until April 15th! Hoo-Rah, baby!

My kids have gymnastics tonight so I get an hour to sit and read Angels and DEmons... Ooooohhhh!

I am having parent conferences right now and so far, aside from getting an entire hour for lunch (gasp! unheard of as a teacher!) it has been the most unproductive afternoon of my life.

Thank you for visiting, have a lovely afternoon.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

So Lonely

No, I am not describing tax season in general.

Although my husband may work crazy hours from now until April 15th, I am used to it. Each night, I may go to bed alone, but I at least have my dogs to curl up and keep me warm, keep me company.

Last night, Ira came home to do his rounds before heading back to the office. He went in each of their rooms to tuck them in and give hugs and kisses good night, before coming to find me in my bed, with my dogs, catching up with Mr. DVR. I thought it was my turn to get tucked in before he headed back to work.


He pulled Rufus to the edge of the bed.

"Haley wants Rufus."

He picked up the 85 pounds of dead sleeping weight (dog wasn't budging. Gave me a 'What the hell? kind of look on the way out the door) and took him to Haley's bed.

Izzy wasted no time snuggling closer to me for some loving and was rewarded with a head scratch, just the way she likes.

Enter Ira.

Scoop Izzy.

WTF? look on dogs face.

"Erin is lonely."


and I am not?

So last night, I went to sleep. Alone. Completely alone. Waiting for my dogs to come back.

Damn dogs.

My feet were cold all night.

Just you wait until they come looking for cookies when I get home today.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

It is all my father-in-law's fault that I have two Guinnea Pigs!

I know, that sounds very strange, especially considering that as I write this he is not even aware that I HAVE the 2nd one, but it is completely true.
Let me explain.

Many years ago, maybe 13 or so, he and I used to read Robin Cook stories. One of us would get each of his new books and pass it on to the other. We both loved these stories. My FIL also, about this time, began to listen to books on tape, or audio books. I was appalled. How could one be so lazy as to need to listen to a book? I refused.

I refused, that is, until he bought the new Robin Cook novel on Audio Tape and I, as a newlywed working for like $6 an hour could not afford to go buy the book myself. So I had to borrow his book-on-tape.

I was horrified. Books on tape were for old people and the blind. For the lazy. I couldn't believe I was stooping to this level.

But I needed my fix, so I started listening on the way to school in the car. And it was good.

How does this have anything to do with me having pet rodents? Wait for it....

So, the story was good, and I realized, books on tape were a great way to make a drive go quickly. It was multi-tasking at its best! I can recall days when I would be sitting in my car, listening to a story in the parking lot at school, and the students would be knocking on my car window. "Mrs. Krassan, the bell rang, you're going to be late!" I just had to finish the chapter!

So, I caved and loved books on tape. It was my FIL's fault.

But that still doesn't explain this

So, the story continues....
The entire family all got hooked on Books-on-Tape. We would scour the local flea market on Sundays for the best deals and then pass them around. My in-laws strike again. One week they found The Green Mile by Stephen King.

You may remember the movie. It was a long movie. But not as long as the books. The books were released as a series of short books, about 8 of them I think, and there was, of course, a wait period between each new book. Building suspense. Think of the Harry Potter thing. It got to the point that when a new book was released, whoever listened to it first had to pass each individual tape along, because we couldn't wait for them to finish the entire book!

It was bad.

If you loved the movie, The Green Mile (with Tom Hanks) you should read the books. It is 27 times better.

and in this story was a mouse. named Mr. Jingles. And I loved Mr. Jingles.

Well, shortly after I finished reading this series, I began teaching 4th grade. As a brand spanking new 4th grade teacher, I needed a class pet. All the other young new teachers had class pets. Julie had a hamster. Nina had a fish. Shawn had a lizard in his room. So I wandered the aisles of the pet store and chose can you guess...a what? are you seeing it? Yup, a guinea pig and I named him Mr. Jingles. I did this for the kids, I said, but realy, it was for me. Naming him, the name was 100% because of that stinking book. I loved that book. I was so upset when I finished the books and that the story was over, I needed it to go on somehow. So I honored my love of all things literature, and gave myself a daily reminder of a story that truly reached my heart by naming my class pet after the mouse character (who played a bigger part in the book than he did in the movie, by the way) Mr. Jingles.

And you know what happened? I found out I loved Guinea Pigs. They are very cute and lovable little creatures. Sociable as well. Mr. Jingles would sit on the kids desk while they worked. When our custodian cleaned my room every night, Mr. Jingles would toss the food bowl around the cage until Bill came over, and opened the cage and pet him and brought him a treat. He was awesome.

Fast forward 100 years. Mr. Jingles retired from class pet life to spend his golden years with a former student. My daughter comes home one day and tells me her friend has to get rid of her Guinea Pig because her mom is "allergic" to it... after a year. {snort} Her friend wants us to take Miss Piggy, we are the only ones she trusts. I am sold, but can we convince daddy?


Fast forward 2 more weeks. Miss Piggy comes home with all her treats, toys, cages, brushes and paraphanalia. . The girls are that good. A few months later, we are all enamored with the little thing. She is a doll, even daddy likes her.

But she is lonely.

I like things in twos.

Two children.

Two dogs.

Two Little Piggies.

When I mentioned it to my wonderful husband, in a would-you-mind-way, he responded, "Absolutely Not!"

He better be careful, or I will have Two Husbands, as well.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I Just Don't Care.

There may only be two of them, but they so know they have the advantage. They see my weakness. I am tired. My strength is low. They are cute. And sweet. They move in for the kill.

"Mommy, can we stay up a little late and watch TV in your bed? Please? We won't bother you at all?"

and they don't. They will go in my room, turn on the t.v. and I won't hear a peep. It is so easy to just let them be. I should put them to bed... but it is so peaceful. They know I am weak. They know if they argue, laugh loudly, run, cause havoc, I will hear them and come marching to put them to bed.

So skillful are the young ones. Stealthy in their ways. So manipulative. How do they learn this at such a young age?

"Mommy, you go relax, we will be fine up here." and they go upstairs while I am sitting at my desk, working (ok, playing on the computer). Miraculously, for the first time all night, they behave like real people and get along.

One mishap. One instance of bad behavior. One cry of "Mommy! She....." will bring me running and end their time. So they are good. Extra good. It is frightening. It is bliss.

It is now well past their bed time. On a school night. Daddy is still not home and won't be for some time. I hate tax season. They are still quietly and very nicely watching TV.

and I just don't care.

It's never too early to learn to work the system.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Conversation at the Desk:

Haley: Erin, I'm going to use one of your markers, ok?
Erin: Ok, Hale, but I am doing homework, so if I need it, you have to give it back.
Haley: Will I have homework some day?
Erin: Yeah. When you get big and go to my school, you will have homework just like me and we can both do our home work together.
Haley: Will we both always have homework?
Erin: Well, since I am older than you, I will only have homework until I get a job, then I won't have homework, but you will.
Haley: Will you still be my sister when you have a job?
Erin: Yes, Haley. But I will be very busy, so we might not be able to play games every day like we do now.
Haley: Can we still have sleep overs sometimes?
Erin: Sure, Hale.
Haley: And you will always be my sister, right, Erin?
Erin: Of course.
Haley: Thanks, Erin.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Slobber, Flying Socks, Lasts and Heavy Kids.

I woke up this morning. Very Late. Desperately in need of a shower, I hurried through, dressed, and ran out the door. Only when I got to work did I see the long clear slug-like-trail of dog slobber down the left sleeve of my jacket. Oh, and I am not wearing a shirt I can go through the day without the jacket on. It is gross, and I did the best I could getting it out with some water and a paper towel, but clear runny snotty looking slobber is not attractive on your jacket sleeve.

Damn dogs.

Yesterday, when I was switching the laundry, I opened the dryer before the end of the cycle and one of my daughter's socks came popping out. This brought me waaaa-aaay back. When Erin was a little baby, whenever Ira or I would open the dryer while it was still running (to check and see if it was done already, because we are so not patient like that) little baby socks would always come flying out. It used to crack us up. Every. Time. Well, Erin got bigger, and the socks didn't pop any more. Then Haley came along and... you got it... Return of The Flying Socks! We had forgotten about those little pink things that popped out all the time. Well, I never realized as the girls got older, that their socks stopped popping. It just sort of, well, happened. One of those things that doesn't get noticed.

Until yesterday. When a sock popped out of the dryer. And it made me remember all those little tiny socks that always flew out every time I opened the dryer door. You don't notice when it is the last time something happens as your kids get older. Mine are far from babies now, and just where exactly did that time go? Erin is so big I can't really pick her up and carry her in the house if she falls asleep in the car. Or carry her to bed if she falls asleep on the couch or something. I have to wake her up and have her walk. I don't remember the last time I was able to carry her sleeping body like that and tuck her in. Why is it we remember all the firsts so clearly, but we don't recognize the last time we do something so monumental?

Haley fell asleep in the car last night and I carried her in the house. I know I have a while before she is too big for me to carry, so I cherish each time I scoop up that warm little body... but how do I know when the last time comes? Will I know to take a picture? As the second child, will I know to watch for it? Or will the day just show up that I can't? Already, she wants privacy in the bathroom (for her, not for me!) and dresses herself exclusively (explaining many of her fashion choices) and 1000 things they each do without me now that I used to do for them, How does this all happen and when does it stop? Ok, I don't want it to stop, I just want somebody to send me a memo and let me know when I have to play close attention to something in particular because it may be one of those "lasts" for one of my girls. I want to catch the "lasts" with all the joy and tears that I caught the "firsts" with.

I love watching my kids grow up. I don't miss the stages behind us. I don't like babies and I certainly don't want another. I just want to make sure I appreciate each and every stage we are in so that when they move on, I am ready for it.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Monday, March 2, 2009

Layouts from January Getawy

I went to Ocean City with the S.A.G. group in January. This is some of the 30 layouts I did that weekend.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

So easy a 5 year old can do it.

I love my iflip. My husband got it for me for this past hanukkah. It is nice and small so I can toss it in my purse and keep it with me for those spur of the moment things that I want to capture. It is also so easy to operate, literally, just push a button. Maybe, too easy..... Exibit A: Haley records herself.