Monday, August 30, 2010

First Grade

We go through a bunch of firsts. Today we experienced a few. It was the first day of first grade. A week before Labor Day I won't go into it because that's another post in and of itself.

Right off the bat we could tell Aedan was nervous this morning. Hell, I was nervous for him. All day as a matter of fact. But that also is another post. This was his first day of first grade. An all day affair. With lunch in the cafeteria. We packed lunch today because the menu didn't appeal to him. He only gets about a half hour to eat so we thought bringing would be easier. Seems not to be so. So tomorrow he'll buy and we'll see how that goes. I'll tell him to be fast about it and not to futz around. If all his lunches are that quick I won't have to worry about him blowing the cash reserve on ice cream treat day in and day out.

We waited at the bus stop with hoards of people because this year they switched our neighborhood to morning kindergarten. So all the littles were there as well. It was NUTS. In the madness of a late bus for the bigger kids arriving right behind the just as late bus for the elementary kids Aedan got turned around and almost got on the middle school bus. So glad I was paying attention.

All day long I was nauseous thinking about what he was doing and how things were going. When I finally got to the stop to get him at 3:45 he gets off the bus with a grin and a "geez, don't make a fuss" look on his face I felt better. He had a good day. He doesn't have any homework except to bring work home for me to do. It's amazing the amount of paperwork they still send home for being so "green". I have about 6 forms to fill out and send back. I forgot about all the little extra stuff they get from you at the start of school. I need to schedule his physical and his dental exam soon and write a few checks already. He has a planner. I didn't get a planner til I was in college prep school. Certainly not first grade. I guess that's a good thing but it seems very organized and not very .. um.. well.. fun. He in the big leagues now.

He already has Friday off for a long Labor Day weekend and next week is Picture day and an Ice cream social so he can get reacquainted with his friends in a more social setting. We also have Back To School night so we can meet his teacher, view the class and hopefully meet the other parents. I have issues with other parents. I always feel like an outsider. Like they are all best buds and I'm intruding so I hang back and just observe never wanting to be he annoying Mom. I have issues. I suppose I should get over it. I am hoping a few volunteer gigs for parties and such will get me over the hump..

That's Day 1 in a nutshell or a large suitcase. I'm sure there will be more to come.. if you know anything about our life.. there is always more to come.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Ever just start laughing at something funny that wasn't super funny but still funny enough that you laughed? And then you laugh even harder and can't stop and tears start rolling down your cheeks and you start snorting because you're trying to stop laughing. Which in turn makes you laugh more.

That's fun.

Monday, August 23, 2010

So Cool

Yeah that's me. Well only because the temperature in my living has dropped about 20 degrees in the past 4 hours. And I'm loving it. The transition from summer to fall is my favorite. Moving from hot to cool and going back to school has always appealed to me. Maybe it's the newness of everything. The clean slate you get with each new school year. The smell of all the new pages in a marble copybook. The crisp clean air that blows through the windows on a lovely day. I just love everything about it.

Aedan started his fall soccer season today. In the cool rain. It was about 67 degrees and raining for his 1st practice which makes things interesting and fun and muddy. I like fall soccer. Sweatpants and a sweatshirt cheering him on and taking pictures with the beautiful fall foliage in the background. And not sweating or eating gnats the whole time. That is definitely a bonus.

We have a few more days til school starts and I'm starting to get excited for Aedan. He'll be a 1st grader. All day school with lunch. He'll be getting the bus from home this year thanks to my Mom so he can sleep a bit later and have a good breakfast before school. It's a wonderful thing. We went last night to get him new sneakers. Headed up to the outlets because I wanted Adidas shell toes to try and avoid an early sneaker death. So I find them and he was less than thrilled. He seems to have the Cosgrove boy sneaker gene. And if no one knows who the Cosgrove boys are and what that gene is I'll enlighten you. The Cosgrove boys are my cousins Paul and John. They like their sneakers. They liked them clean and new. They also liked them flashy. Meaning : patent leather and or dark /multi-colored. So he's sulking because the ones I tell him he has to get are white with navy blue stripes. BOOORING. So I make him a deal only because the sneakers are buy one, get one 1/2 off and he kills sneakers. If he has 2 pair they may last a bit longer. So I say, "If you try on and let me get the white ones you can pick another pair yourself." Deal. Oh boy.. I went on to regret that statement. He tries on and walks around. Great. He then shows me what he wants.....
Black and Red patent leather high tops with white stripes.
Um.. really?? Are you sure you don't want these other silver runners?? Or these red and silver cross trainers?? NO ?? You HAVE to have these ?? But they are BLACK and RED and SHINY. So I let him try them on. As soon as they were on the scene from a movie where some magic shoes makes the person wearing them dance everywhere flashes through my mind. He starts running around. Big shit eatin' grin across his face doing cartwheels and running up the walls doing half flips. I couldn't believe how damn happy he is just because of a pair of $17 sneakers that I hated. I no longer hate them as I can see how happy they make him. My only rule: You have to wear the white ones on the 1st day of school. :)

So now we only have a few more supplies to pick up in order to be ready for 1st grade. The rest is all emotional. Mostly for me, I'm sure he's ready.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Monet She Isn't

OK. We get home after 9 pm from visiting Peg and the kids. Bittersweet. It was nice to talk and remember Tom.

I get the kids bathed and I'm cleaning up the bathroom when Chloe walks in all upset and she has a splash of purple nail polish on her forehead. I say "why do you have nail polish on your forehead? She doesn't answer as per her usual M-O. I ask again.. "what were you doing with the nail polish?" Still nothing. So I tell her she had better not have gotten it on anything blah blah.. She is getting increasingly more upset and Jim is now getting louder and heading downstairs to find the offense. I tell him go to bed because if you yell we'll never know what happened. It's after 10 at this point. I just want to know what she ruined so I can get some peace and quiet. I tell her I won't get angry or tell Daddy just tell me. So she whispers "I painted your dining room" I am stumped because I looked in there and didn't see anything.

So I take her into the dining room. "Show Me" . She pulls up the table cloth and points to the pedestal leg. I bend down and look.......

Here's where it gets fuzzy. I think I passed out. I think I had a stroke. I think I had a coronary, died and then was revived by the fumes of all the godamn purple nail polish. I quietly told her she is so close to death she had better get her ass to bed before I take care of it. And that she is lucky Daddy doesn't know because she'd be in way more trouble than I'm about to give her. No nail polish on fingers or toes til she turns 6. No exceptions. She's hyperventilating. I tell her if she keeps that crap up then Daddy will find out because he'll ask why she's upset and I'll flat out tell him.

I got her to bed without incident (lucky her)and proceeded to go downstairs and figure out how I'm going to get it all off without stripping my damn table. Oh my god. I mean she painted the hell out of that leg. And when I say pedestal leg I mean 3 foot around pedestal leg. She painted a good 6 inch square section including autographing her work. I guess so as not to mistake the artwork for her brother or sister's crap scribble. I wiped with remover and quickly wiped with a wet paper towel and kept doing it til it was all gone. It certainly isn't shiny anymore. Most of the finish is off in that section. Luckily it's in the back and usually covered by a tablecloth.

I should have taken a picture before the cleanup so I could torture her with it as an adult so she knew how she took 3 years off my life when I was 36..
but I was stunned so I wasn't thinking straight. And in a motherly instinct of trying to protect her offspring I didn't want the man to find the picture. She's one lucky kid.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Thomas J. Smith Jr

Thomas Joseph Smith Jr., August 18, 1958 ~ August 16, 2010.

May he rest in peace.

I'm participating in the Race for Hope in Memory of Tom. I have 11 weeks to get in shape to do the race part rather than the walk.

Race for Hope

I'd like to share something my nephew wrote about his father..

Mostly everyone who knew my dad could tell how much of an impact he made on the world. My grandmom swears that, every since he was a little kid, he changed everyone he knew. And I believe her with all of my heart, he has done everything in consideration of someone else and always helped other people, even if it cost him. Not only has he been the best father to Sierra and I, but I know he's been the greatest husband, and son, and brother, and friend to everyone else around him. My dad has been one of the most important people in my life and I know that other people will agree to the same thing. Somewhere along his travels of the world he must have stumbled upon eternal youth because before all of this started happening, he never grew up. He would always play in the pool or ride dirt bikes with us or just hang out, he was a different kind of dad. I never got embarrassed of him, he had a style all of his own and every day i was proud to call him my dad. Another thing that he found that most can only hope to find some day, is true love. I have never seen any two more in love than my parents, anyone who knows them will agree to that without a doubt.

To me he was the perfect role model. He taught me everything that I've tried to be. Kind, Friendly, Helpful, a Leader. Through his example I've seen that life can be enjoyed without things like drinking or smoking. Never once has he done that and I've seen him have more fun than most of the people I know. My dad is more than just a role model or a great father to me. He's one of my best friends. All my life I've had him to turn to when in need and he has always been there to help. Never once has he let me down in life. We've shared so many things too, a love for xtreme sports, a love of cars and hunting...the list goes on. I could go on forever about the adventures we've had together. We almost died when we were on top of a mountain during a lightning storm. We've had some of the most incredible stories and I've always been so glad to tell people that: "yeah, that's my dad." Of all the people who have admired his strength and kindness over the years I am still his biggest fan, I've lived watching him and wanted to be like him from the very beginning. I still hope that some day I can be as amazing a father to my kids as he's been to me. He's the greatest dad to ever live in my eyes.

And now on to the sad part (sorry i need to let out my emotions somehow so you all know how I feel about this). Over the past year since he was diagnosed (July 17) and had his first surgery (July 23), I've had a lot of time to thing about how things might turn out in the end. Now with the end not far from sight, I know what I am going to face someday. I realize that my dad won't be there to watch me graduate high school or college. Or to see me get married. Or walk Sierra down the aisle. He wont be there to know or watch our grandkids, they'll be born not ever knowing the great man that i call "dad." It shakes me to my core when i think about things like this and i get so upset, but it's something I know will happen and that I must accept.

The thing is, a day wont go by where I dont think how great my father was. I'll never forget all of the amazing times we had together and all the crazy stories. Someday my kids will know that their grandfather was someone to be proud of, just like I am right now. My dad's fought this disease hard and sadly it seems like he's losing. My mom and I sit there every night and talk to him and listen to him breathe just to know it's still happening. Every single night I tell him I love him and how he's the greatest dad in the world. I hope everyone got a little something out of reading this and now knows a little bit of how i feel about life right now. Looking at old pictures of him make me laugh and cry at the same time because I know how amazing he has been his whole life but i'm gonna miss him every day he's gone from mine.

Everyone do me a favor if you can, leave a comment. Show my dad your love because I know my mom will read this to him and then he'll know how truly loved he is by everyone. Even if you dont know my dad, just extend out a little love towards me and my family, like this or comment on it. Every day we fight this disease together and the more love we get, the less it hurts to keep going. One more thing, if you can: please go hug your dad right now just to let him know how much you love him and how fortunate you are for having him in your life. No matter how close or distant you are, nothing is greater than a father's love for his kids. I love you Dad, I couldn't have asked for a better father. You're the greatest.
He never learned how to grow up. But when you're having so much fun, who needs to grow up?

Rest In Peace Dad, you'll remain forever in our hearts.

August 18, 1958 ~ August 16, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The End is Near

It's August 15th and the summer is on it's way out. In the old days summer wasn't over til after Labor Day because that is when school started. Now school starts on August 30th so summer ends much too soon. Kids barely get 3 months of summer anymore. I'm waiting for the 12 month school year to be instituted. That would truly SUCK.

So we are in full Back to School mode in Casa de Curtin. Supplies are being purchased, clothing is being bought, washed and hung in the closet. We checked the school website and found out the name of Aedan's first grade teacher. She has a good reputation and I hope Aedan takes well to her and does well in her class.

We have decided to keep my Mother on as the kid's caregiver. Since she is still gainfully unemployed she had taken on the child care task for the summer. The kids could sleep in (not that they did) and they could swim or do whatever with her all day long rather than get dragged out at 7 am with me to go to the day care center. It was a win-win situation. I saved over $200 a week, she made some $$ while unemployed and the kids were home. Now we were faced with a child care cost of $517 when you add up the girls and Aedan before and after care. So Jim posed the question of whether she'd like to stay on to get Aedan on and off the bus and care for the girls. She said yes. So for now, until she finds a real job we are golden. :) I am excited for Aedan, he'll be able to get on and off the bus with his neighborhood friends everyday and get his homework done right away rather than waiting til nighttime. What a break.

We are tentatively planning a trip out to Dutch Wonderland next weekend as an end of summer fun day. We will be out there anyway Saturday night for an adult evening so we'll just sleep over at my parents house and head out to DW from there. Hopefully there won't be any hangovers to deal with in addition the the family fun.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Oh What a Difference a Year Makes

Losing my Mind

I had a great blog idea in my head last night and I get here and I'm ready to type it I have no clue what the heck I was going to write about. I know it was great. How could it not have been. I would have dismissed it immediately had it not been superb. :) I really wish I could remember what it was supposed to be about.

Last night I came inside with my drink in hand, took off my sunglasses did something else, told Chloe to get back outside and then proceeded to go back outside. Five minutes later the Man came out and asked if I meant to throw out my D&G sunglasses. "Um.. no. Why do you ask ?" "Well because I saw them sitting inside the trash can " he says. What the hell am I doing?

I can have a perfectly normal word on the tip of my tongue and then it's gone and I sit there trying to remember what I wanted to say for like 5 minutes. I think I should just get one of those teeny pocket thesaurus and keep tat in my pocketbook so I can refer to it when I have that problem.

Is it just age?? Is it the beginning of a nervous breakdown? It could be the latter due to the mental stress the kids put on me by simply not listening. OK scratch that last part. They are just pissing me off at the moment by talking back and not listening AT ALL. But seriously. I am at a loss for words (hahaha) as to what is going on. Luckily my long term memory is still fully in tact. Gotta keep those birthdays, weights, first steps, first dates , etc all in there because they are really important and where I store my sunglasses.. not so much.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I Need To Moonlight

At the Demolition Derby to get all my recent Road Rage out. It seems to get worse with age. Either that or other people's driving skills have seriously deteriorated in the past 10 or so years.

I have wanted to kill at least one person (and that is putting it lightly) a week on the road. They drive like maniacs cutting me off, speeding and simply ignoring the rules of the road. Simple drivers ed stuff.

Use your godamn turn signal people. Especially if you're gonna cut me off at 70 mph on the turnpike. I might not want to run you off the road if you at least signal before taking off my front bumper.

Drive the speed limit. Not 10 under and not 40 over.

Wait your turn. Don't ride the gravelly shoulder to pass the others that are waiting patiently. Don't pass the people on the onramp on their left and then proceed to BLOCK their entry onto the highway you stupid bitch in the white Murano.

Don't tailgate me dude.. I'm already going 10 over the limit.. you want to go faster feel free to pass me but I won't move for you because you're not the boss of me :) And if you get too close I WILL hit my brakes and cause you to hit me. I'd love to get rid of the minivan. Or better yet.. tailgate and flash the high beams.. that really makes my day.. I may even give you the secret wave on your way by.

And in closing, if you know a certain intersection is busy and has no light and you always need to make a left, strap on a set and go.. don't sit there waiting for a mile long space of no cars because that just makes me want to ram you into the intersection from behind. Otherwise go down the street to the light and make your left. You know it's there. It will take the same amount of time to get there as it does for you to sit here so just do that next time.

thanks and drive safely.