January 30, 2009

Not the workout I planned on....

I was having a great workout on the bike trainer in the basement with my headphones on, when my daughter came down and said, "Mom, there's something wrong with the dog - he's in the bathroom shaking." In the past 24 hours our two dogs had somehow gotten into an entire pan of brownies and 1/2 bag of M&M's, so I was more than a little concerned. I ran upstairs and managed to coax him out of the bathroom to go outside. I encouraged him as he wandered around the side of the house, hoping that any issues would "pass". But as soon as he got to the backyard he was gone like a shot to the neighbor's house to visit.

So there I was, chasing the stupid dog through the yards in my spandex cycling shorts, a sports bra, and winter boots. My poor neighbors.

But wait that's not the best part. As I opened the door to go back in the house, I was blasted with the smell of five years of pizza cheese burning on the bottom of the oven. "Did the smoke detector go off before?" I asked. Of course it did. Only with my headphones in I couldn't know that, and didn't realize until after the chase, that the dog was in the bathroom hiding from the detector.

And do you think one of them could fill me in?

January 27, 2009

Where's your stuff?

I was pulling into the parent drop off line for my youngest, and asked her if she had her coat. She glanced around, shrugged her shoulders, and said, "It must be at school." "Are you sure," I asked. "Yeah, if not, I'll just grab another hoodie from the lost and found." As we pulled around and she stepped out of the car I said, "Where's your backpack?" "Hrmph. Must be at home."

Aside from the obvious fact that my daughter showed up at school without a coat or backpack and we were both ok with that, I was struck by something else - the change from 5 years ago. She was having a meltdown over her missing lunch and the teacher was out of ideas, so she called my older daughter off the playground to help! It took most of the afternoon to calm her down, and she has taken hot lunch most days since. What a difference!

January 25, 2009

Scouting - and not the girl scout kind.

On the phone the other day another parent and I were talking about our schedules, and she said, "You don't mess with basketball - it's a cult." She couldn't know how on the mark her comment was.

My youngest daughter had a game yesterday. A coach from one of the teams known for its active recruiting of talent, approached another dad from our team and gave him a business card for his daughter and mine. A week earlier we were approached by another coach scouting for a select/all-star team for summer. I have a couple of thoughts about all this:
  • First of all, my daughter is good, but not great, and I can say this because I have two older players and know what "great" looks like. She's not there yet.
  • Second, my daughter is in fifth grade. What if she has a growth spurt that leaves her hopelessly clumsy between now and then?
  • Third, it's January. I am just getting back into the schedule for the second half of the regular season - I am not thinking about summer yet.
She will play competitive ball over the summer, for sure. If she doesn't, there are other girls who will, and talent gap widens quickly, even at this age. Today in most sports, if they aren't playing competitive leagues by the end of grade school, high school is a long shot. When I was a kid, we were lucky to have enough girls for a team. On the positive side, it will be good for her to play with kids that love the game like she does and have skill levels that can challenge hers. But scouting in fifth grade? Seriously?

January 17, 2009

I hired a driver!

I have always said when I make it rich, the first person I’ll hire is not a cook or cleaning person, but a driver. I have a lot of pet peeves related to driving (yeah, that's a surprise, isn't it), so I won’t list them here, but as a result, driving is just not much fun for me.

So for the unbelievable cost of a $415 (the fee for driver’s ed these days) I have hired a driver. I have her for the next five months, until she turns 16 and can legally drive alone. As we pulled into the school lot yesterday, she looked at me relaxing in the passenger seat and said, “You’re never gonna let me take my driver’s test are you?”

Not until the next kid turns 15-1/2....

January 10, 2009

It's a curse I tell you....

I am planner challenged. I can't seem to find the right fit.

If I was just responsible for me I could pick up any one of the free monthly pocket calendars that are handed out this time of year. I like monthly calendars, because I can see before we get to the "day of" that we have basketball, a fundraiser, and a girl scout meeting on the same night. But as the social director and transportation manager for four other people, those itty bitty boxes just don't do it.

So I switched to a weekly format. I tried 1 page per week, 2 pages per week and even tried making my own pages. But there is no room in a weekly for for other things like bills that are due, fitness goals, or grocery lists. Part of my obsessive organizing is list-making - that, or it's a highly developed strategy to compensate for my absolute lack of memory. Either way I cannot survive without lists and need to keep them with me, preferably safety pinned to my jacket. Last year I thought I had the right planner - I bought a Moleskine with the weekly calendar on the left and a blank page on the right. It was great for keeping schedules and lists in one place but still too small for our lives.

Now, add the one other complication that I am an aesthetics person. It matters to me what the paper feels like, how see through it is, how big the lines are, and what color the cover is. I like spiral bound so I can fold it over, and it has to be durable enough to take with me everywhere (that memory thing again). I am open to suggestions....

January 4, 2009

Back to school - boo.

Most parents are doing the happy dance right about now because in less than 24 hours the kids are back to school. I'm not one of them. I like having my kids at home. We stay up late, sleep in, eat donuts, watch movies, read, and have friends over - luxuries that don't happen during the school year as often as I'd like. So sadly, tonight I will set out breakfast, backpacks, and lunches, and get ready to send them off to school. I wonder if Starbucks will soften the blow?