Friday, August 25, 2006

I've Got a Crush on You

My neighbor girl is going into 10th grade, and she is quite stunning, only good for her Dad, the boys haven't noticed....YET. Or perhaps they are looking for the blond Brittney type and not the knockout red head type. She has long red hair, deep red, not carroty, and blue eyes. Her skin is fabulous, with just a sprinkle of freckles, and she is tall. Well, taller than me, does that count as tall? My kids love her and she can babysit 4-5 kids and make it look effortless. She is a great girl, and she has a crush on an "upperclassmen" that probally doesn't realize that she is going to be the girl the guys drool over in college. I have known who she likes for a while. Call it my business as a guidance counselor. Anyways, her MOM has found out and her entire sports team and of course it's the team HE is on. So her MOM invited the entire team over for a pool party today. She is caught between being mortified and being very excited, and don't you just remember that feeling?
I think our first crushes were people that weren't attainable to us, hence the excitement. For girls, anyways, we looked to "older men", you know, guys in 10th grade, not 9th. Half of the excitement was having the thought and realizing you thought this person was IT. I also think the notion of having the crush was much better until your friends became armed with the info, or an entire sports team. Then they tell people, then your MOM finds out, and people think it's all "cute and sweet". The secret gets out and it just takes something away, especially if the object of your desires isn't interested. Then everybody knows that he doesn't want anything to do with you. God, do you remember that? No amount of money would make me want to go through that again.
Of course I remember my first crush. He was TWO grades older than me. Jay Fenton. What a cute, sweet, nice kid. At least I didn't pick a jock. I have no idea what happened to him, or if he ever knew? I have a feeling he is married, a really good husband and father. And I still remember those feelings. Thank GOD my MOM never knew.
Neighbor girl, I feel your pain. I"ll try to distract your mom today during the pool party and if this boy doesn't realize the fabulousness that you are??? Wait till college. Wait till he sees you in the future.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

I've Been Tagged

Traci just tagged me, so here goes:

Four jobs I've had in my life:
Guidance Counselor ( current), teaching assistant, radio personality, and your Friendly waitress

Four places I've lived:Here, Schenectady, Cobleskill, and Ilion ( Beautiful downtown Litchfield)Four TV shows I love to watch: Sex and the City, CSI ( all of them), Cold Case, and Who's Wedding is it Anyways? ( highly entertaining)

Four Places I've been on vacation: Disney Florida, Sanibel Florida, Atlanta ( HOTlanta) Georgia, and Cape Cod

Four Homemade Foods I love: Lasagna, Turkey dinner, calzone, and choclate cake

Four Places I'd Rather Be Right Now:Back in bed, work, actually, Sanible, or anywhere "up North".

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Halloween Prep

I bet you didn't know there was such a thing as Halloween prep? It has to do with the planning and organizing of Halloween. I happen to LOVE Halloween. Call it the wanna be Witch in me. So, I start planning in the Spring. Really. I am always a Witch, as I have made myself a beautiful costume, like somethig out of that movie " Hocus Pocus". The girls usually choose their costume and I work the next few months either finding the costume or making it. Last year, I hit the summer pre-pre season sale at Party City completely on accident in July and found the Brat Doll costume and the witch costume for Anna for 5.00 EACH. They were great costumes, the kids looked so cute. I had the baby last fall, and it was nice actually not to have to sew or make anything. This year, I have happened onto pieces of costumes over the summer and the costumes are coming together nicely. Miranda found a lepard print skirt at salvation army and a plain black long sleeved shirt. We found a matching lepard print stole at the dollar store, and I purchased the matching fuzzy lepard material to make cuffs for the shirt and a tail. We are still on the look out for ears, and black go-go style boots. She is calling herself Cat Woman, and it's a nice compromise. She saw the sleek pleather cat woman costume in a magazine and wanted that for Halloween. Ummmmm, no. I sold her the idea of fake fingernails and the go-go boots for this costume to make it a little sassy. She is happy and won't look like a hoochie mama in training.
Anna decided last year to be Strawberry Shortcake. I found SS material and a cute pinafore style dress pattern. I am making the dress for her. I found the green and white striped knee socks at the dollar store, a SS trademark that I thought I wouldn't find. Now we need a hat, so I am thinking of getting a floopy straw type hat and will add the ribbon, strawberries, etc.....She has a white stuffed kitty to carry to complete the look and black buckle shoes. Two fabulous costumes, less then 10.00 each. Two girls that got to be part of the planning, creating and artistic process? Priceless.
My husband thinks I am crazy for planning in August, but hey, they don't call me OCD for nothing. I also have started buying candy ( a couple hundred kids come through here), and decorations and can be caught humming " It's the most wonderful time of the year...." He has mentioned going to Salem, Mass in October again this year. Pack my bags, grab the hat and broom and I am on my way!!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Home Sweet Home 2006. Happy 1 year Anniversary to us!  Posted by Picasa

Tiger Lilies by the carriage house.  Posted by Picasa

Fall is in the Air

It's the most wonderful time ofthe year! I love Autumn, it's my favorite season. Mostly for the colors, the beautiful days, the smells, the hanging on to the last days of summer, and for back to school. There, I said it. Back to school. :) I don't just love it as a mom wanting my kids to return to structure, I love it as an educator. I am really excited to get back to my job. I love what I do, love being surrounded by teens, and especially love being part of the process that helps them sort it all out. I love watching personal growth!
I have been getting my family ready for "re-entry" as I like to call it, checking off the school supply list ( which was a mile long this year), shopping for school clothes for them and me, and organizing my house and stocking up. I love the feeling of starting the school year off caught up on life.
So I have my own supplies to take up to my office. The girls and I walked up to the school on Tuesday. To my delight and surprise, I could not get into my office. The custodians were in the hall and they stopped to me to tell me the wax and the paint was drying.My office got painted!!!! Woo Hoo. Last year I felt like I was working out of someone else's office. Moving in August, and being very pregnant, I didn't have time to settle in. I have spent the year making the office mine, and now it is freshly painted! My carpets were also cleaned, and the main part of our guidance suite was freshly waxed and buffed. It all looks great and for some reason completely energizes me. A fresh start to the school year. OCD Girl likey.
Miranda is ready for 3rd grade, cursive writing and multiplication. Hopefully plenty of science too, she loves science. Anna is geared up for Pre-K. I have had her on the waiting list since last January, at the ONLY place around here that offers it. Sources say it is "excellent." She is ready! ( hopefully we are ready, the price was hefty!) I think she may be a little bored, as she knows all the usual colors, shapes, can id her numbers, most letters and has begun writing letters, the process of school, the socialization, and the friends will have her 100% ready for Kindergarten.
As for me, I am ready. I am running a girls group this year and am all ready to roll with it, have put together a peer mentoring program and will be ready when school opens, and am not pregnant this year, so my energy is limitless.
Raise your number 2 pencils and toast with me to a successful year of learning and growing, for the children, and for me.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Gimmie a G!

Give me a G for guilty. Pop Warner Cheerleading started last night. Miranda has wanted to do this since last year when we moved here. 3 girls from the Brownie troop are involved and she knows this information. Problem is, mom doesn't really support this. Don't get me wrong, I didn't just tell her no. I have given this so much thought. The first two strikes against it were the cost and time involved. The uniform is 100.00. It's not that we don't have the money, to me it's the idea that a little top and skirt is 100.00. Not everyone can afford this, so now it becomes an activity that only certain girls can participate in. Second is the time. Evenings three nights a week for 2 hours, games on Sunday. This is just for one of my girls. Running 4 times a week for one activity. 5-30-7:30 at night, after a busy day in school, an hours worth of home work, this leaves no time for anything else, and I am guessing one cranky girl. I told her if she did this, it meant no dance or girl scouts, because that would put us running everynight after school.
My final problem with cheerleading, is that it is just that. These are little girls, so the cheers really don't involve much, but even as high school girls our team isn't that athletic nor are they a serious dance team. Beyond that, there aren't really any benefits. It's not like there are cheer scholarships, or "professional cheerleaders". The Dallas Cowgirls only make 50.00 a game, it's pretty much volunteer. Beyond fun, what are you left with? I would rather her pursue dance. She is going into her 6th year if dance. She is really getting good, she loves it, and her studio does compete. Some of the older girls I know have taken it on to serious roles in local productions. If her creativity continues, I am guessing she will like theatre, and dance fits into that. It's a real form of fitness, and you can go on in life with it, either as just fitness as an adult, or it actually could evolve into career choices. Dance instructing can either be a great part time job or it can be your life. If she chooses a fine arts college someday, she can continue to study it. And did I mention she loves it? She has asked to take acrobatics this year and I have agreed. We can do both her dance classes and her acro on the same night, and if her quest to be a cheer leader continues, I would rather her learn the right way to tumble, flip, leap, and vault. After all, she is the tiny girl that would get tossed into the air. I don't want someone's mom teaching her that. Let her learn in the studio and let it take her where it may.
I would never force an activity on her, or rule things out just because. I really have given this much thought and even talked it out with her. More parents should actually do this because I have seen a lot of kids over committed to too many after school activities. It's ok to tell them no, to limit what they do. Some of the littlegirls I know in pop warner also dance, are in girl scouts, and do things with the church. When do their families spend time together? When do these little people just have time to play???
So although I am feeling a little guilty today, she is only 8. There will be plenty of time for her to talk me into it in the future. She would be good at it, just not this year. LEt dance takeher where it may first.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Sweetest Thing

Last night, as the heat still sizzled, I needed to find a way to make my own breeze. All I could picture was that moment in Ya- Ya Sisterhood where the girls jumped into the convertible and went in search of their own relief from the heat. How free they were, riding on top of the seats, feeling the breeze blow their hair, and letting their shirts fall by the wayside. Just the thought of it made me feel cooler. However, I live in a small town, and am getting to be "known" both from the neighborhood and school, riding topless on a convertible really wasn't an option. Besides, where do I drum up a convertible at 9:30 pm at night? In a small town, no less???

I grabbed my mp3 player, sneaks, and stepped outside. It was cooler than it had been all day, the mercury checked in at about 86. The night sky was amazingly dark blue, with stars twinkling, knowing nothing of the heat. I started walking, in search of my own way to cool down. As I circled the block, I noticed I was a lone reed. The usual dog walkers, strolling moms, elderly walking couples nowhere to be found. It had to be the heat. It seemed as I had the village to myself and the radio played one favorite after another. I was feeling cooler as I strolled into the village green. If you have ever seen "Gilmore Girls" you know what our village green looks like. Lots of trees, benches, Gazebo, lamps, and my own breeze. I saw it before I even thought of it. I started walking towards it, feeling apprehensive. Could I do it here? What if people saw me, what would they think? Surely the little street lamps lit the park up so everyone could see that it was me?

None of this mattered to me. I found my breeze. I slid into the familiar seat, rubber between two chains, remembering all the times my girls enjoyed this very thing. I pumped my legs out as U-2's "Sweetest Thing" came onto my radio, as if just for me. I was now soaring through the night sky and as I suspected, the wind was now flowing through my hair. I soared as high as I dared, higher than my daughters were allowed to go. I closed my eyes, savored the music, opened them and savored the beautiful night. Cresent moon, deep deep blue sky, and now a breeze. " Oh-Oh O, the sweetest thing."

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Going for a ride! We put Ava in with Anna for a ride, thinking she would sit on Anna's lap. No can do! Here she is STANDING, barefoot, holding the rollover bar like she has done this a million times. What you can't tell from the photo is that she was squealing with delight! Anna said: " Can we do it again tomorrow Mama???"  Posted by Picasa

Party Girl

Miranda, the social butterfly, is at a sleep over tonight. Daily, I get calls from her girl friends asking her to play. I am not sure how she decides, with so many offers. Anyways, last night, she was at a friend's house for her birthday. She called to say good night while we were outside and left a message on the machine that went like this: " Hi, it's Miranda ( like we didn't know). You know the sleepover party girl! I called to say good night."

I was in no way ready to hear her call herself a party girl at 8! They had great plans though. Pizza, the little chick flick "Aquamarine" and plenty of candy. She learned from the best, ha?