Thursday, August 30, 2007

Official Thursday Weigh-in

Finally, some good news to report!

I got shed of that 1.5 pounds I gained two weeks ago, and another pound for good measure.

Down 2.5 pounds to 158! Total loss 79 pounds!

And now, I'll leave you to ponder just how many exclamation points I can put into one post!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

What's going on here?

As many of you know, I don't really like working. At least not here where I do. It's stressful, there are some long hours that take me away from my family, and, well, the pay isn't the greatest for someone with my education/experience/sparkling personality.

And no benefits.

(I know - does anyone really like working? Like, those of you who work outside the home, would you, if you didn't absolutely have to for a roof over your head?)

I do like some of the work I do, just not all of it. And I do like the people I work with. Just not all the stress involved. And yes, I know that every job has stress. And that there are some very positive aspects to my working here.

Anyway - every time I get good and disgusted, guess what happens.

I get a raise.

That I didn't ask for.

Not that I'm complaining, mind you. I'm just saying.

The boss's wife (who's really the one in charge) just came in and told me I'm getting a raise. I just got one about six months ago. Didn't ask for that one, either, but I found out later that my general manager did on my behalf.

Before that, I'd had one about a year earlier, when I finished a course they sent me to, and another one about six months before that when I started in this position.

So now, I'm all, "OK, God, are you trying to tell me that this is where you want me? Because a raise is a pretty great way to get that message across!"

Add that to the news I got this morning that Amanda has found a really great place to live, and a really really close (like 15 votes and they're still counting the affidavit ballots) primary election from last night, and it's all a bit much to digest.

All I need now is to finally get past this weight-loss plateau, and I think I'll be done.

Monday, August 27, 2007

So that's what the kids are calling it these days.


You know, being tagged on a blog. People are so clever these days!

This one is courtesy of Heather.

Eight Jobs I've Held In My Life

1. Babysitter. Naturally. I watched the two kids across the street (ages 6 and 10) every day after school for $50 a week. I was 13. Man, that was some major bank for a 13-year-old!

2. Fast food maven. For about three months. At Wendy's. Is there anyone who hasn't worked in fast food, besides my sister? They only worked me on weekends, and then I made the mistake of complaining about not getting any hours any other time. They gradually cut my hours down until I quit. I think they did a mass hiring, and needed to weed some folks out. Suited me just fine!

3. Daycare. Courtesy of my BFF Marcia. We spent our senior year of high school working every day at a daycare run by a church. She got me the job, and I worked right up until I left for college.

4. Writing center tutor. It's what I did for work study in college. I also worked as an office assistant for the professor who was in charge of the writing center. It was a sweet gig. She was like a second mom to me, and she'd gone to college in Memphis so it helped to have someone to discuss M-town with when I was homesick. She was supposed to come to our wedding, but the school scheduled some dumb early-orientation thing that week. She fussed at the dean for making her miss it.

5. Soup kitchen manager. I did it for 4.5 years in South Carolina. Not the greatest job (mostly because of the boss) but it was only four hours a day and I got to take AM to work with me after she was born.

6. Editorial assistant for the Journal of the Islamic Medical Association of North America. Yes, I said Islamic. They were a group of doctors who happened to be Muslims. Most of the articles were the same you'd find in the mainstream medical press, but with an Islamic worldview. We worked out of the office of their editor-in-chief, who was a high-risk neonatologist in Augusta, after hours. We (the assistant editor Catherine and I) didn't really see the Dr. too much. It was just the two of us three hours a week. I LOVED it. The office was in a hospital, and the cafeteria had great food. It was also the nicest office I've ever been in - three exam rooms, each decorated in a different theme, with PAINTINGS on the ceiling. Genius. Something to look at during those uncomfortable girly exams. A well-stocked breakroom, including a Coke fountain machine that dispensed free drinks and the leftovers of whatever the drug reps had brought by that day.

I was in charge of typing the submissions and making corrections to the ones that Catherine had edited. Also, calling authors (some overseas) to talk with them about the status of their writing, and send them copies of the journal once it published.

Alas, it was not to last. The powers-that-be angered the good doc, he resigned, and they moved the operation to Chicago to their headquarters. Bummer.

7. College professor. After I was fired from the soup kitchen (it's a long, painful story that probably should've landed me in therapy) I taught night school at a local technical college. Developmental English on two levels - those students who couldn't write a sentence, and those who couldn't put those sentences together into a paragraph. I held this job during what was probably the most stressful time in my life, but I loved it anyway. I'd go back tomorrow if I could. And no, I don't have a Master's degree, but since these courses weren't for credit, I could teach them.

8. What I do now - news editor. I've just started my second year in this position, after being the page editor for two years and the office manager for about six months. Yes, I've held nearly every job at this paper! Now, if my pay could just reflect my experience and ability…

Well, there you have it. I've left out some jobs, like the four-day turn at working at a dry cleaner (yes, four days. I quit.) and various and sundry retail jobs (Lane Bryant anyone?). Feel free to play along!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Official Thursday Weigh-in

Work work work.

That's all I ever do.

I get off work after working all day on my football tab, and then after dinner I have to go buy AM a red shirt to wear to school tomorrow (because it's Red Day! Red clothes and red show-and-tell! And I found out today!)

And then - Open House! Dude! Being in the school building at night, a place where you know where everything is and your parents know where nothing is, is COOL.

And then - Jason solicits my help in building a logo for one of his clients. Except this computer doesn't have Quark (our desktop does, but I don't like the PC verson of Quark). So I'm using something called Fireworks, and I don't know a blame thing about it. So I'm taking a break.

Where was I - oh, yeah, my weigh in.

(Man, this is only like the longest OTWI post ever! The suspense is killing you!)

In the words of my WW leader, I "held my own." It's her nice way of saying that I didn't lose anything.

At least I didn't gain either, like I did last week, and at least my "friend" came to visit this week (in the middle of dance sign ups and football tabs and open house! Score!) and I can pass things off on my "condition."

And not the two gallon - sized ziploc containers full of fresh baked peanut butter cookies my husband brought home Tuesday that I've been having to (unsuccessfully) keep myself away from.

To borrow a line from TobyMac

And paraphrase, I bet you thought I fell off the face of the earth.

Well, no, not really. Maybe wish I could have, but didn't.

Tuesday just before lunch I found out that our football special edition (the one we do every year this time, the one I've been responsible for the PAST THREE YEARS, the one that I completely forgot about) was to publish. Next week. And I haven't gotten any information from the schools. (Which Shirley said was OK, because she'd forgotten too and hadn't sold any ads.)

Um, yeah.

So the last two days I've been spending every spare moment putting this football tab together. On top of my regular work. And, thanks to some big-hearted football coaches who are getting their information to me lickity-split, I'm almost done.


I was hoping for today, but I guess it'll have to be tomorrow.

But - the Fairy Tale Ball!

My assumptions were correct - every girl there was either a princess or a fairy. Actually, two girls just came in their regular clothes.

Guess they didn't think the rules applied to them. They do, after all, attend the private school here.

We were 30 minutes early, because I'm a big doofus and thought it started 5:00. When it started at 5:30. So we got to talk to the teacher/owner while she finished getting things together.

We even got there before the Fairy Godmother. Who, by the way, Anna Marie wanted nothing to do with.

Anna Marie made a hair barrette with curly ribbon, and bracelet out of a pipe cleaner and beads, and a magic wand with a Popsicle stick and a big foam cutout of a star.

Good times, good times.

And we got a tour of the studio, which is still under renovations. And Anna Marie ran around playing with the other girls.

Except for the lack of food (Who in their right mind has an open house and doesn't serve food? Especially in the south?) it wasn't too bad.

I handed over a check for the uniform order, and an auto-draft form for the monthly tuition and we left to change, eat, and make it to church in the nick of time.

And so begins the life of a dancer.

Or at least the next nine months.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Yes, I'd like an order of guilt with a side of inadequacy

Make that a large, please.

Man, Amanda is so gonna get mad at me when she reads this.

(Much like I did yesterday, when I found out that she'd been hit in the head with a piece of water ski equipment in a freak accident at her friend's dad's luxurious two story lakefront home, and they, of the great means and probably boat insurance, didn't offer to pay for her, of the no steady job and no insurance, to go to the doctor. But I digress.)

(By the way, she's fine. Small gash to the side of her head. Black eye. Sterile strips instead of stitches, because they were in Alabama when it happened and in no hurry to get back home, and it was 12 hours later when she finally went to the ER.)

But enough about my nearly-blinded sister. Let's talk about ME and MY NEUROSIS.

Anna Marie is signing up for ballet tomorrow. Everyone say "Awww!"

This isn't just a sign up. It's a "Fairy Tale Ball." The girls are supposed to dress up as their "favorite fairy tale characters." Games and activities (and I hope food, since it's from 5-7 p.m.) will commence.

A splendid time is guaranteed for all.

I thought "Fairy tale character! She can be Little Red Riding Hood! I'll get some red fabric, pin it like a hood that's little and red and riding, and put some muffins in her basket."

Jason said, "Or, she could be a princess. WalMart has some tiaras."

"But every little girl there will be a princess. She will be distinctive."

Amanda came to town to get a haircut today, and show me her battle wounds, and we had lunch and went to said Big Box Retailer to get a yard of red felt.

Then, as I was getting into my car to leave work this afternoon, my phone rang. It was the owner of the dance studio. I'd called a couple of days ago to make a reservation for the Fairy Tale Ball and get the "deets" (i.e., how much bank do I need to bring that night?)

I really wish she'd called, say, five hours earlier. Before I bought the fabric and got Amanda all cuted-out thinking about our LRRH. Because what the nice lady said made me feel awful.

"She just needs to dress up. I'm sure she's got some princess clothes around the house!"

That's when it hit me.

Every little girl there will be a princess. She'll stick out like a sore, red thumb. With a basket.

Let me give a bit of background: when I was about six, my next door neighbor invited me to his church's Halloween party. I dressed up like a Gypsy, since all it entailed was some scarves and a few of my mom's Avon samples, and we weren't exactly well-set financially.

The only problem was, only my neighbor's class (a boy) was dressing up. The girls were all in their Missionettes uniforms (like Girl Scouts, but church-affiliated) and WERE MARCHING INTO THE SANCTUARY FOR A SPECIAL PRESENTATION.

There I stood. In scarves and rouge and clip-on earrings. And there they were, in neat little uniforms. And I had to stand there with them, sticking out like a bejeweled thumb.

The were the informed. The in-the-know. I was utterly humiliated.

Having realized how this game works - that "Fairy Tale" really probably just means "Princess," I've determined to avoid a similar situation with my own child.

I've given in. Jason is going to get his way. I got out her pretty white dress with the big crinoline she wore to her Other Aunt Amanda's wedding. And a crown given to her by one of my aunts. And a pair of dress-up heels she got for her birthday last year.

I hate to think I'm passing my neurosis on to Anna Marie. But I hate more the thought that I knew ahead of time that the girls would be dressed as princesses, and I still sent her in red felt.

I don't know if she'd have noticed or not, but I would have, and that would've meant me putting out some bad vibes. And no one needs that.

She's already probably going to be different enough - one of the practice requirements is that the girls put their hair in a bun, and I don't know if you've seen my kid lately, but without a weave that isn't happening.

I discovered tonight that there's a fine line between "distinctive" and "outcast." And, at this stage of the game, when first impressions are being made on both sides, I'm erring on the side of conformity.

Please don't hate me - I'm just trying to do the best I can to help my kid.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

In honor of High School Musical 2

Which Anna Marie somehow coerced me into watching with her last night, and courtesy of Sheila the Worlds Biggest Beatles Fan, I offer for your reading pleasure:


~Everyone who reads this is officially tagged and I hope you'll post your answers on your blog ~ let me know if you do so that I can come over and check out your answers.

1. Who was your best friend?
I had two, one at school (Kendra) and one at church (Marcia).

2. Did you play any sports?
Not if I could help it.

3. What kind of car did you drive?
A 1983 Buick Skylark. I drove it for 10 years. I still miss that car!

4. It’s Friday night. Where were you?
Either at Marcia's spending the night or at Kendra's with other folks watching a movie.

5. Were you a party animal?
6. Were you considered a flirt?
Gosh no! I was (and still am) so shy! I never dated anyone in high school.

7. Were you in the band, orchestra or choir?

8. Were you a nerd?
I was on the Knowledge Bowl team (you know, questions and buzzers and lightning rounds, oh my!). I don't know if that makes me a nerd or not.

9. Were you ever suspended or expelled?

10. Can you sing the fight song?
We didn't have one.

11. Who was your favorite teacher?
I had two - Mrs. Reid and Ms. Mozingo. They were my Knowledge Bowl sponsors, so I spent most of my time with them.

12. What was your school mascot?
An eagle.

13. Did you go to the Prom?

14. If you could go back, would you?
Not to high school. College maybe.

15. What do you remember most about graduation?
My parents threw me a big open house at the beautiful home of one of their friends. It was lovely.

16. Where were you on Senior Skip Day?
At school - I didn't like to miss.

17. Did you have a job your senior year?
Yes, I worked at a daycare with Marcia.

18. Where did you go most often for lunch?
Usually some fruit - I rarely ever bought the lunch there. I'd come home after school and have a snack. My senior year I got out early so I just ate when I got home.

19. Have you gained weight since then?
No, I actually weigh less.

20. What did you do after graduation?
Went to college 500 miles away in Georgia.

21. What year did you graduate?

22. Who was your Senior Prom Date?
Hello! Didn't you read #13?

23. Are you going/did you go to your 10 year reunion?
I did, to one of the events - a family picnic. It was fun, and I hope we do another for our 15 year.

Your turn!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Official Thursday Weigh-In

Well, the scale moved, but not in the direction I'd hoped.

I was looking for more of a downward trend. It was not to be.

I gained 1.5 pounds this week, taking me back up to 160.5.

I guess my devil-may-care attitude of last week caught up with me. Or the chinese food I had last night (hot and sour soup). Or the two hours I spent this afternoon standing in a hot courtroom during an investiture ceremony for a local attorney who has been appointed to the state supreme court.


My friend and former co-worker LaJuan joined WW tonight, so I guess I'll have someone local to help keep me accountable now!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Checking in after the check up

Anna Marie had a checkup at the eye specialist yesterday. When we made the appointment, we completely forgot about school starting. We had to check her out early, which I hated (especially since she had just gotten to the library when we came, and was going to miss her first Spanish class) but, what can you do?

Nothing. But anyway.

I had a conference call scheduled, so I couldn't go. She and Jason went, and they were seen early! Like 20 minutes early when they got there. When does that happen? Never, I tell ya. Never.

He called me a few minutes after the appointment was scheduled to start. She didn't have her eyes dilated (which made her very, very happy.) It was just a simple vision check.

The results were nothing short of miraculous.

Especially since we had no idea how bad her left eye really was before the treatment.

Before, the vision in her left eye was 20/200. She basically wasn't using that eye to see at all. It just wasn't working.

Now, eight weeks into the stronger lens/two-hour-daily patching, she's up to 20/40.

Did you just see that? I'll let it sink in for a moment.

From 20/200 to 20/40. In eight weeks time.

I am in awe. We've been praying diligently for her since we got the news that something was wrong. And we've been following the doctor's instructions to the letter. (Knowing what a slacker I am, I'm actually kinda proud that she's not missed a day of wearing her patch.)

I praise God that He helped us find this problem before she started school. I shudder to think what might have happened if this had gone untreated much longer - if a kid can't see, they can't learn. At least not very well. And they generally don't behave well in classroom settings, either.

She has to go back in six months for another check up. I'm really, really praying that the patching won't be needed after that. She's been great about wearing it, and we try to put it on when she won't be in public much (to minimize any potential for embarassment). But all the same, if I wasn't having to put it on her (and shell out the $$$ for the darn things) it wouldn't hurt my feelings a bit.

I suppose I need to take a picture of her with one on, to make a scrapbook page. It could be pirate themed!

Argh, mateys!

Monday, August 13, 2007

I've got a fever, and it can only be cured by . . .

Iced tea.

(You thought I was going to say "more cowbell" didn't you? I'll have you know we were watching that SNL sketch the first time it aired, and we laughed until our sides hurt. We knew it was genius before the rest of the world! Same thing with Lazy Sunday. We're in the know. But I digress.)

I have had such a craving the last few days for tea. Iced tea. Unsweetened iced tea.

My mouth waters just typing it.

I guess it could be due to the fact that it's over 100 degrees here. I don't know. I don't care. I just want my tea.

When I go out to a sit-down restaurant, I usually order water with lemon. That's partly because I'm trying to drink more water, and partly because I'm too cheap to pay upwards of two bucks for a drink.

(Good thing I'm a teetotaler - I hear the hard stuff costs even more. But anyway. Back to the tea.)

When I go to fast food, I usually get a diet drink. Most fast food places don't have what I consider good tea. I think that's partly because I drink it unsweetened, and I live in the deep south (home of sweet tea) and my stuff just doesn't get used up as much and therefore not refreshed as much.

I'd usually end up drinking either stale tea, or what my dad calls "chemical tea" (not brewed, but made from concentrate.)


But, I've discovered some fast food tea I can call my own. And it's in my backyard.


At the Back Yard Burgers that's literally in my backyard.

Jason and I went there for lunch today (a strange feeling, being without the little one) and I had some. Then I was on my way to a meeting, and I stopped by again. Just for the tea. Got out of my car and everything, to be sure it was just right.

I have a tea maker here that I got for my 21st birthday (along with an engagement ring, but that's a post for a different day) and I've used it ever since. It turned 10 years old last week. I took it to college with me so I could always have fresh, unsweetened tea.

We've considered replacing it. It only holds one gallon, and Jason really wants one with a two-gallon pitcher. He's sure he's seen one somewhere, but I haven't located one yet.

So here we stay. With my 10-year-old beloved West Bend tea maker. And it still works. Because I just used it to make me a batch of tea.

(Jason, by the way, drinks the Walmart brand of diet peach tea. From a powder. Disgusting.)

I don't drink the stuff in a bottle at the store. Even the stuff that says it's diet. Because it has sweetener in it, albeit artificial. And I just don't like the taste of anything in my tea besides lemon.

I have relatives that drink it so sweet, you could use it for pancake syrup. But not me.

Call me un-southern.

Call me odd.

I don't care.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need a refill.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Dang it - I've been tagged!

Just when I needed something else to blog about - you know, besides a certain newly minted kindergartener?

I've been tagged by Heather at Desperately Seeking Sanity. (Sorry, don't have my handy-dandy link code crib sheet with me!)

Here are the rules:

1. You have to post these rules before you give the facts.

2. Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of their middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.

3. When you are tagged you need to write your own blog-post containing your own middle name game facts.

4. At the end of your blog-post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag.

5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Let's see if I can pull this off.

D is for the double chin that I don't have any more!
A is for Anna Marie, my one-and-probably-only youngin'
R is for Raney, my maiden name.
L is for logical, which I most definitely am not!
E is for English, of course - my college major.
N is for nosey - good gracious, it's one of my worst traits!
E is for Emmanuel College, where I met Jason.

My middle name, Darlene, comes from my ex-aunt. I guess that's what you'd call her - she was married to my mom's brother, but they divorced about 12 years ago. At the time of my birth, my parents were really close with my aunt and uncle. We remained close off and on over the years, and she was one of my favorite aunts. In fact, mom told me recently that before her own daughter was born when I was about two, my aunt treated me like Amanda treats Anna Marie. Too bad I was too young to remember!

My best friend in kindergarten was also named Melissa, but her middle name was Kay. I had another Melissa as a friend in junior high and high school, and I think her middle name was something like Claire. I haven't met any other Melissa Darlenes.

So, now I need to tag some folks.

Suzie Q

And, if you aren't on the list, don't despair - I had to narrow it down to seven names for the seven letters in Darlene. You can play too - honest!

Have fun!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Official Thursday Weigh-In

Ok, so obviously my "don't worry be happy" approach to weight loss didn't work.

On the bright side, the week which contained my birthday, Anna Marie's first day of school, an election, and several public meetings, didn't cause me to gain any weight.

On the other hand (like the mixed metaphors?) it didn't cause me to lose any either.

In short - I'm still at 159. I'm beginning to think the scale is broken.

Or I am.

Well, maybe after a week off - during which I still didn't go either hog wild or pig crazy - I can get down to brass tacks.

And at least another half pound.

(Hey - a thought just occurred to me. Unlike most modern WW centers, we've still got the old doctor's scales. What if I'm losing like a tenth of a pound each week, and it just hasn't added up yet? Well, it was worth a try!)

P.S. - Seems the Peyton in Anna Marie's class isn't her Arch Nemesis. It's another Peyton. Who shares her Doritos at lunch. Today I asked Anna Marie what color the bag was (trying to figure out if they were at least baked) and she said, "Yellow, like they're supposed to be. Did you think they weren't baked?"

What has gotten in to my kid?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

First day updates

Guess who was the Student of the Day on her very first day of kindergarten?

Yep, you got it. Apparently she got to be the line leader all day long. Remember when that was a really big deal?

(Actually, judging from the behavior of some adults I've seen at stores, it still is.)

We didn't make it to Sonic yesterday. I had some emergency business to tend to, and when I got finished, it was time to pick her up and I needed to get back to the office. So I got her a Sprite out of the fridge here and sat at our conference table and went over the stuff in her backpack.

The teacher gave out goody bags, with a cute little note ("You're a star in our class" and gave out Starbursts, etc.) She also got a "Backpack Buddy," which was a plastic folder I'm supposed to check every day for papers and send things like ice cream or lunch money back in.

(Because, as she explained to me, she can buy ice cream at lunch, and she expects me to give her ice cream money every day. I did today, but that was just because I happened to have fifty cents handy that I pulled out when we were in line at the school.)

And yes, I saved all the stuff she brought home yesterday like her coloring sheets and the note from the goody bag, because I realized yesterday morning that this called for a scrapbook!

Jason had to put her to bed last night, because we had a county election and I was at the courthouse until midnight to get the results. Fat lot of good it did me, because when I tried to post them to our website, it wouldn't refresh. I called after-hours support, and she was all "I'll bring the issue up at the office in the morning."

And I was all "Yeah, so will I." Well, I didn't say that to her, I said it to my GM Shirley who was up here with me. I don't know if you remember or not, but a few months ago we were having trouble with these people and my publisher sent them half a check with a note that it was proper payment for the half a$$ed service we'd been getting.

He promptly received a call from the hosting company, offering a free month.

They finally got the site refreshed about 30 minutes ago, after we'd gotten several phone calls and emails asking us where our results were.

All that overtime is about to come in handy, though - Anna Marie is going to sign up for ballet, and we have to buy everything from the school so all the students will look uniform. And while the individual items aren't expensive, it all adds up to about $80.

(Oh, and they want her to have her hair in a bun, but that obviously isn't going to be happening.)

(Unless, of course, I get her a weave.)

Oh, I almost forgot - seems Peyton is in her class after all, and they're like best buds. Except that she keeps comparing herself to Peyton ("Peyton has a High School Musical backpack. Peyton brought a juice box today. Can I bring one tomorrow?) Peer pressure already!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Ta Dah!

Presenting one of Senatobia's newest kindergarteners!

Sorry for the not-great picture. I tried taking some in the backyard before we left, but it was so muggy that my lens kept fogging up. The school parking lot was a little better, but by that point she was too distracted.

So, this is the best I could get.

I also realized after we got inside that I should've taken the camera inside, but I didn't because I didn't want to look like one of "those" moms. I could kick myself - I AM one of "those" moms. Who am I kidding? I wouldn't have been the only one with a camera in there!

She was up before her alarm went off, ready to go. Saying "I've been dreaming about this for so long. It's my best day ever!" School didn't start until 7:40, but we left the house at 7:15 so we would have plenty of time to get through traffic and find a parking space.

No problem on either count, even though there is a new middle school on the street that the street in front of her school dead ends into. Guess leaving early helped.

We parked across the street next to a now-unused building (since the new school was built) and walked over. Along with about a bazillion other parents and kids, some carrying nap mats signifying they were also kindergarteners.

Her teacher is the mother of one of her soccer teammates from last year - Abby, the girl with which Anna Marie was going to start the Tate County Pint Size Republican Club. (Her grandfather, the teacher's father-in-law, is the head of the GOP here). Abby, of course, was not in her mother's class. Dayton isn't in there either, and I'm kind of glad - I was afraid that she would hold back from meeting new kids if he was there.

Her Arch Nemesis, Peyton, isn't in there either. I didn't have time to see whose class she is in, except that it isn't her grandmother's.

We put her stuff into her cubby (she has a cubby! With her name on it!) and sat her down at the table where her name was (her name! She has an assigned seat!) There was a coloring sheet there, so I guessed that the kids were expected to color quietly while everyone was arriving.

The teacher remembered us from soccer. As I look back over last fall, I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not!

I even got a car pass to pick her up - Jason will have to get one too for the days when it's his turn. Apparently, no pass, no AM.

She sat down at her table, and put on her name tag. Luckily, since the teacher knew us, we didn't have to go into the "she's called both names" stuff. Her name was Anna Marie on everything, right down to the frog on the front door.

My little girl started coloring, like she belonged there or something! I hated to leave - but I knew I had to. I gave her a hug and she gave me a kiss, and I said a little prayer with her, and I left.

And I didn't even cry.

I think it helped to see who her teacher was - knowing that she also has a daughter starting school today, and being somewhat familiar with her.

I can't wait to see her this afternoon and hear how her day went. She was feeling much better this morning, by the way. I did give her a Benadryl, just for good measure. And to keep her calm - hey, maybe that's why she was being so quiet once we got in there!

Maybe we'll go to Sonic after school and get a drink, and have a little chat. Just the two of us.

Monday, August 06, 2007

One! More! Day!

Try saying that title like Captain Kirk. It's pretty funny.

(Yes, it's my birthday, happy birthday to me, blah blah blah, it's been pretty crappy so far, so let's get on to the mommy whining, shall we?)

One more day. Anna Marie keeps saying, "Tomorrow, I'll be in kendragarten."

And no, I'm not misspelling that. That's how she says it. Guess it's an homage to my friend Kendra, purveyor of the finest Girl Scout cookies this side of the Mississippi.

So, yes, tomorrow she's going to school. And next year, I'm either moving to a new district or putting her in the insanely pricey private school here, because her dang allergies are acting up.

Like they do every year.

Like she's sick EVERY year on my birthday. Which is part of the reason today has been mildly crappy. But there isn't a thing in the world I can do about it.

So, I'm moving. Because the schools here start the first week of August. And since my birthday is also the first week of August, and her allergies kick up around my birthday, that makes chances pretty good that she'll be sick when school starts.

And tomorrow is going to be her very first day of school. Ever. Ever.

You only get one of those.

So, we're pumping her full of antihistamines and decongestants and expectorants. Every four hours, even (as I learned in the wee hours of this morning) overnight.

I went to the store last night for lunch box fare - lunch box fare! My kid has a lunch box, and it's in need of fare! - trying to avoid today, when the aisles will surely runneth over with last minute shoppers.

And I went past the school supplies - past, because, gentle readers, I'm done. Have been for a couple of weeks now. DONE.

It's the same giddy feeling I get at Christmas, when I've done my shopping beforehand and I walk past the toy section, and parents and grandparents are wandering around like they're in a daze picking through the remains of the Doras and Diegos and Backyardigans.

(Except this Christmas, they'll also need a lead testing kit.)



My kid.


Sunday, August 05, 2007

Movie memories

Ever have one of those birthday celebrations that lasts several days?

Valerie, I know you have!

Well, my birthday isn't until tomorrow, but we got a head start on Friday night.

The Orpheum theater in Memphis has a summer movie series each year. Last year, we went to watch Return of the Thin Man for Amanda's birthday. It's so cool to see those old movies on that huge screen, in that beautiful theater. And all for just $6.

This year, Jason and I met my BFF Marcia and her fiance Luke to watch The Wizard of Oz.

Marcia had to wait for Luke to come from his job (about two hours from Memphis) and told us to go ahead and eat. So we did.

We bought the tickets first - in line behind one of the weather guys from our local CBS station! I played it so cool, and wasn't spastic AT ALL!- and then went to Peabody Place Mall for a slice of pizza.

Peabody Place is like no mall you've (probably) ever seen. It's attached to the Peabody Hotel downtown, and is absolutely beautiful inside. Beceause of its downtown location (and late addition to the area) it's tall and narrow.

They don't have very many stores - it's really pretty much a tourist hangout, since there isn't any free parking attached to it. There is a 22 screen theater which includes a giant screen (I've seen Anchorman and X Men 3 there) and an indoor blacklight-lit neon golf course, not much more.

(Oh, and a Starbucks down in the courtyard, but I didn't get to stop there Friday.)

Then, after Marcia and Luke scarfed down their dinner, we walked back to the Orpheum. I was so glad we'd bought our tickets ahead of time, because there were people everywhere - including her (apparently an employee):

I don't know if you can tell, but she favored Chelsea Clinton an awful lot.

Inside, there was a costume contest. Some of the kids were spot-on, some not so much.

And, look at this cutie pie:

And she didn't even win! What is wrong with these people?

They had a contest for the adults too, but it wasn't as fun because they all either rented their costumes or came as sexed-up versions of the characters.

And Marcia said the Tin Man was creeping her out because he had face paint and everything.

After a Little Rascals short, the movie started.

It was SO MUCH FUN! We sat in the first balcony (maybe called the Mezzanine? I don't know). Luke wanted to throw peanuts, but Marcia put the kabosh on that idea. Really, unless you were seated at the extreme sides, there weren't any bad seats.

It was kind of like what I imagine a Rocky Horror Picture Show viewing is like - lots of audience participation. We sang and clapped along with the songs, and recited lines with the movie, and hissed when the witch appeared.

And we picked apart little things - like when the others come to save Dorothy, and she tells them the hourglass is about to run out, that doesn't mean anything to them - they don't know about the hourglass! And after the witch is gone, when they ask those green guys for the broomstick, he says "Please, and take it with you." Huh? Who asks for something and then leaves it there?

Guess that's how they do things in the Merry Old Land of Oz.

And one final picture, which should've been taken at the beginning of the evening and not the end (because it isn't the best picture of either of us, and I'm not quite sure why I'm even posting it, except that it feels kind of obligatory):

One final question, posed by Luke: there were two roads, one yellow brick and one red brick. Where did the red brick road lead?

Friday, August 03, 2007

Official Thursday Weigh-In

That "Thursday" should be in quotation marks, because, of course, it's Friday.

Last night I had to cover a school board meeting, and then I came back to the office to help sort out some issues with the tax sale list (you know, the one where if you don't pay your taxes, they run your name and property in the paper, and then they sell it?) And didn't get home until 10:30.

Because, gentle readers, in our county, while the tax collector's office uses computers to keep up with their records, they REFUSE to put those records onto a disk for us. And we had to scan in the pages. All 109 of them.

Twice, because we couldn't get the first batch to work. And the second time, there were three of us scanning.

But anyway.

I'm not sure what the point is of me even weighing in, because once again, I DIDN'T LOSE A THING!


That's a solid four weeks now of 159. It's almost like my body is rebelling.


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Can you read what this cake says?

Click photo to enbiggen.

I guess when you bake your own birthday cake, you can write whatever the heck you feel like on it.

What did we do before order tracking?

I mean, seriously.

Remember the"wait four-to-six weeks for delivery" message you used to hear whenever you saw an ad for something mailorder?

(Along with "no C.O.Ds? Because, really, who is going to trust someone to pay for something AFTER it's been shipped halfway cross country? Not me.)

I ordered Anna Marie a backback from LL Bean last week. Not because I'm too good for a Walmart pack. But because 1. I don't want to get into a fight with her about which character she wants, which is going to change next week anyway, and she'll be stuck with Spiderman when she really wanted Dora, GOD!, and 2. If I'm spending the money, I'd rather spend a few dollars more (in this case about $10 after shipping, and that's for the cheap ones) and get one she can use for more than this year.
And that won't look like c.r.a.p. (that's me spelling that word, because my mom always spells it - and when a friend of mine tried the same tactic with her family, it came out "c.a.r.p." and they were all like, "Carp? Really? This is a bunch of fish?" But anyway.)

Besides all that, most of the ones in the stores are way too big for her, and this is a "junior" size. (Everyone say "Awww!")

But, I ordered it Thursday night. And it left Maine Friday and traveled to Connecticut. And that was all I knew until Monday, when it got to Memphis. (Where, as you know, lives the FedEx headquarters.) So I thought, "Oh, it got to Memphis early Monday morning. It should come down here Tuesday."


And while we're at it, no, this isn't the "Absolutely, positively, has to be there overnight" division of FedEx. It's the "We needed to compete with UPS" division.

But! But! I checked today, and it's "Out for delivery." They couldn't send it directly here from Memphis (and truth be told, it's only about 40 minutes from here, I could've just driven up there MY SELF) but they had to send it to Olive Branch - home to my BFF Marcia, and also apparently a mini-hub.

It's the same distance from here as the Memphis airport. Go figure.

No, I didn't get her name embroidered on it, because 1. I'm cheap like that, and 2. I figured if anyone else needed it passed down (a friend or a cousin, since I obviously don't plan on having any more kids if I can help it - no paid maternity leave and no insurance, hello!) it would help if it didn't say "AMT" on it.

It's green, as you can tell from the picture. (As is the lunchbox that my GM bought her from Lands End. Oh, the preppy-ness!) She's been on a major green kick the last couple of years, which I'm thinking is because Dayton (the babysitter's kid) is so very into green.

Which is natural for him, because his birthday is March 17.

My baby is starting school in less than a week, y'all.

Hold me.