Bueller? Bueller?

Reason #5,371 Why I Love Target: They sell stuff like this.

(For the record, we picked up the shirt, not the kid, from Target.)

My son wore this little gem proudly to preschool the other day.  The shirt did cause a bit of an awkward moment when I picked Chip up later in the day, though.  When his teacher asked me, “Who’s Ferris?” I realized the movie was probably a little before her time.  The whole experience made me feel, well, a little old.

If you don’t know the story of what happened to Ferris Bueller, I’ll give you the rundown.  My best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night.

I guess it’s pretty serious.

If you want to donate, a group of us are collecting money to buy Ferris Bueller a new kidney. They run about 50 G’s, so if you wouldn’t mind helping out…

Or, you can just go pick up a shirt at your local Target to show support for the cause.  The shirts are pretty choice, if you ask me.  If you have the means (or an extra $8), I highly recommend picking one up.

iPhone Photo Phun

Fuse beads: The good, the bad, and the ugly.

If your child has not yet discovered Fuse Beads, you’re in for a treat.  These colorful little plastic beads are a great way to keep your child busy on a rainy day.  And believe me, we have plenty of those around here.  Bobo is literally obsessed with the things right now.

But, as I’ve discovered, there is a downside to our newly-found craft project.  And, sometimes, there is a really, really big downside.

Before you venture into the world of Fuse Beads, be forewarned.  There is a good, a bad and an ugly to these little suckers.

The Good: Fuse beads will keep Child A quietly entertained for hours.  OK.  Maybe not hours.  But at least for a good 30 minutes while you attempt to make dinner.

The Bad: Once the fuse bead masterpiece has been completed, Child A will insist that her work of art be ironed.  Immediately.  Because the sky will fall if you don’t.   It makes no difference that you’re still in the middle of making dinner.  Fuse beads wait for no one.

The Good: You admit, as you iron the little piece, that fuse beads are an excellent way of encouraging counting, sorting and pattern-making with young children.  Your child may surprise you with their ability to create elaborate pieces of artwork.  And you might “ooh” and “aah” like it’s the best thing since sliced bread.  Because, of course, it is.

The Bad: Your “oohs” and “aahs” will pique the interest of Child B.  Whatever Child A does, Child B must also do.  And even though you try valiantly to work on patterns with him (“Can you do a blue and then a green?”), it’s far more fun for a two year-old to grab huge handfuls of the beads and mix the colors together.  Or try to sneak beads from his sister’s pile.

The Good: Both children are quietly occupied again (Child A making the beads, Child B attempting to steal beads from Child A).  You resume making dinner.

The Ugly: Child B starts coughing.  You rush over to where he is.

“What’s wrong,” you say?

“I gotta boogey up there,” Child B says, rubbing his nose.

But on closer inspection you realize that he didn’t say “boogey,” but rather, “bead.”    Apparently, he tried to create his own fuse bead masterpiece.  Up his nose.

The Good: Child B, distracted by a Disney movie, allows you to pin him down on the ground while you go fuse bead hunting with a pair of tweezers.

The Bad: After retrieving the first fuse bead (a green one!), you discover Child B has actually stuck multiple beads up his nose.

The Good: When asked, “How many beads did you stick up here???” Child B responds back quickly and gleefully, “OneTwoFree!”  You figure that at least we’re working on counting skills while we’re fishing them out.

The Ugly: You discover, after fishing out the third fuse bead, that Child B cannot actually count after all.  Or, that perhaps he just lost count after the third.  So much for child geniuses.  As you proceed to extract the fuse beads out from the depths of his little nose, you wonder how a nose so little could hold so many beads.  It’s kind of like the clowns coming out of the tiny car at the circus… how DO they all fit in there?

The Good: You discover, as you’re counting the line of snot-covered beads pulled from your little one’s nose, that he actually inserted them in a very specific order up his nose.

Green…

Brown…

Green…

Yellow…  No wait, that last one was a booger.

Brown…

It was a pattern!  He was listening to what you said after all.  Despite your distress over having to perform surgical extraction on your son, a small part of you beams with pride.  What a smart cookie.

And you begin to reconsider that maybe he is a child genius after all.

A child genius who just so happens to like to stick small colorful objects, in copious amounts, up his nose.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go in Kindergarten

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Kindergarten.
It’s your very first day.

You have brains in your head,
And brand-spankin’ new Spiderman light-up shoes.
I offer to drive you,
But the bus is what you choose.

You’re on your own.
And you know what you know.
As much as I want to be there to hold your hand,
YOU are the little one who’ll decide where to go.

I watch you get on that school bus so yellow.
And inside, I feel anything but calm and mellow.
“You’re too little!” I think.  “How did you turn 5 so fast?”
I’m forced to look forward, instead of to the past.

I know that you’re nervous, excited and scared.
And, trust me, your mother is all of those things, times two.
Just go right along, and have an open mind.
Everything will be fine.  Don’t worry.  Don’t stew.

‘Cause deep down I remember, all those ages ago,
In Kindy you’ll experience, flourish and grow.
And I know in my heart this is your time in the sun.
New friends, new skills, and new fun to be done!

Oh, the places you’ll go in Kindergarten!

 

What do I smell? What, do I smell?

The smell hit my nostrils as soon as we stepped through the front door.  And it was not a good smell.

Our yard backs up to a greenspace, which means we have all sorts of critters that meander into our backyard.  Cute little squirrels, curious raccoons, and even the sporadic deer.

And, apparently, we also have skunks.

Which are not cute at all.  Especially when they spray their nastiness right outside the vent that airs into our kitchen and entire house.

“Ugh!”   I gagged out the words as we entered the house.

But apparently, the scent must have drifted upwards.  Because my kids didn’t smell a thing.

“What’s wrong, momma?” Bobo chirped, oblivious to the stench around her.

“I smell a skunk,” I answered back, as  I debated about whether opening the windows would make the problem better, or worse.

“I don’t smell anything,” she replied nonchalantly.

But I did.  And as we moved further to the back of the house, the pervasive odor only got worse.

“Oh, man,” I said.  “I can’t believe you guys don’t smell that.  Seriously.  Does it stink in here, or is it just me?”

Bobo kicked off her shoes, and came over to where I was standing.  Eerily close.  Like she was sniffing me out or something.  Which, in fact, she was.

“No, it’s not you,” she said, finally.  “You smell really pretty, momma.”

And her kind gesture made me feel a little better.   At least I knew that I didn’t smell like a skunk.  Even if my entire house did.

 

I know you’re happy to see me. But the feeling’s not mutual.

People who’ve visited my house in the past have commented on how clean and organized everything was.  I never let them in on my dirty little secret.

I had a housekeeper.

It was a total luxury, I know.  But as a full-time working mom, it was a bi-weekly indulgence that I relished.  I looked forward to coming home every other Monday to a house that smelled like Pine-Sol.  The toilets were cleaned, the beds were made, and carpets were freshly vacuumed.  And the only finger I had to lift was to pull out my checkbook.  Well worth it in my book, I tell you.

Alas, with some recent changes at my day job, we’ve been looking at places where we might be able to trim the fat a little with our expenses.  And so we went through the checklist.

Gas budget? Um, have you seen gas prices lately?

Eating out less?  What? And skip our weekly Red Robin rendezvous?  But I love those bottomless steak fries!

Eliminating beer?  Hell no.

Housekeeping?  Sadly, yes. Since I was staying home more, we conceded that the housekeeper should be a thing of the past.  It was all up to me.

The only problem?  In the two years that we’ve had a housekeeper, I’ve gotten spoiled.  Lazy.  I no longer know how much time it takes to clean the house.  Or exactly where the cleaning supplies are kept.  Or how to use them.

Such was the case when I went to dust off the vacuum the other day.  And I discovered a few things.

  1. Vacuuming really does burn a lot of calories.  Forget the treadmill.  I was sweating like a hog by the time I was done.
  2. Judging by the fruit loops ground into the carpet, my kids don’t listen to me when I tell them “no eating in the living room.”
  3. Judging by the Cheetos ground into the carpet, my husband doesn’t listen to me when I tell him “no eating in the living room.”
  4. My vacuum cleaner might just be smarter than I am.

To clarify point #4, let me explain.

We have a Dyson.  And while it cleans really well (that’s the rumor I’ve heard, at least), the damn thing just has so many buttons and gizmos, I need to get the manual out each time I use it.

One such gizmo is a telescoping hose that you can use for cleaning those hard-to-reach spots.  And while I eventually figured out how to get the thing to go up, no amount of cajoling, pushing or cursing could get the hose to go back down.

So, after 20 minutes of figuring out how the vacuum worked, followed by 45 minutes of vacuuming, followed by another 30 minutes of trying to put the vacuum away, I was left with something like this:

The best I could figure, my vacuum cleaner was just really happy to see me.

I wish I could say the feeling was mutual.