This is my sons backpack.
It’s got his initials on it – so he knows it’s his.
He and I toiled over the shade of blue, I wanted a lighter sky blue – he loved this darker color.
I paid extra for shipping so he’d have it in time for school.
Inside the backpack is his homework, his books, his snack, his water, his musical instrument, and his jacket. He didn’t want to wear the jacket but I was convinced he’d need it at recess. I felt so good about remembering to give it to him. Yeah me!
Also inside is his itouch. He saved and collected every penny from his birthday and Christmas last year to buy one. He begged and pleaded with my husband and I to take it on the bus. I said ok . My husband said no. Conversations ensued.
An agreement was reached. A deal was made. But then I decided he could take it one last time before the new rules went into effect.
This is where the time goes.
Know where this backpack is? On the kitchen floor.
Know where my son is? On the bus to school.
That’s about right.
10 Oct 2013 6 Comments
This is my sons backpack.
28 Aug 2013 16 Comments
in I need to tell you about this right now Tags: beads of sweat, Confession, debt of gratitude, Family, First Day of School, humor, incoming freshman, Panic, parenting, peer leader program, Photo, School, school bus service, silly little things, Summer, Supplies, Xanax
I share this story because this is why I have a blog. I debated whether to come clean for quite a bit this morning, and decided not to edit myself.
My daughter’s first day of school is tomorrow, but she’s in this peer leader program and had to go in today to welcome the incoming Freshman. Because we live in a different town then her high school, bus service was not available today and I had to drop her off at 7am.
On my way back I noticed a ton of buses from our school district all over our neighborhood. Hmm…I thought. School starts tomorrow, why are buses running today? As I turned onto our street I noticed a bunch of middle schoolers at the corner. They usually get picked up an hour before my son gets picked up.
My stomach turned a bit. Beads of sweat started to form. No. Today is Tuesday. School starts tomorrow. Right? Why didn’t I bring my phone with me? No biggie. I know I’m right.
I got home and ran into the kitchen – yep, the calendar says school starts on the 28th. Wednesday. Tomorrow. I grabbed my phone and checked the date. Gulp. Everyone in the neighborhood was right. Today was Wednesday.
I ran upstairs like a lunatic and woke my son up.
“School starts today!! Today! Today! Wake up! Brush your teeth!”
My husband casually walked in my son’s room, I shouted some obscenities, and he walked out.
I frantically pulled the tags off all the clothes and ran downstairs. We’d ordered his backpack in July and I’d stuffed it in a closet. Somewhere. I remember feeling so organized when it came in the mail. Like one of those people who buys Christmas presents in the summer. Found it!
That relief was quickly gone when I realized the bag was empty. I never bought the supplies.
Why? Because it was 5 silly little things that I thought I’d pick up at the last-minute.
I grabbed my wallet and headed to CVS.
I love CVS. I owe CVS a debt of gratitude and appreciation.
I grabbed Expo markers, red/green/blue/yellow plastic (not laminated) folders, composition books, pencils, zippered pencil-case – and milk for cereal. I would have grabbed Xanax if it was OTC.
By the time I got home we had 15 minutes.
I made him eat while I labeled and packed everything.
5 minutes to go.
I doused his hair with water and out the door he went.
Like we’d planned it all along.
Excuse me while I go throw up.
27 Aug 2013 2 Comments
in I need to tell you about this right now Tags: comedy of errors, homework projects, humor, Lessons, Life, Music, night homework, Photography, Piano, piano teacher, Russian, School, Teacher, Teaching, thick accent, tunnel vision
Two years ago my husband found an old-school, Russian piano teacher. He did this how he does everything. Complete tunnel vision until objective is achieved. There’s no giving up in parenting! The first year was a comedy of errors full of Three’s Company type of misunderstandings due to her very thick accent (which my son calls her volume). I’d sit in the other room and hear a lot of, “Svweetee..vould you try zat again?” “what? oh. try it again? ok.” …..”zank you” “what? oh. you’re welcome”. She’s like the nicer, gentler, Natasha from Rocky and Bullwinkle.
It’s gotten better. But every summer we take a couple of months off. To give the kids a break. To give Tatyana a break. And let’s be honest, to give me a break. But summer is officially over when she walks in at 6pm on a Tuesday night. Homework, projects, parent-teacher meetings all follow quickly after.
I snuck in the room tonight and recorded the below. This is what I will hear from 6pm to 7pm every Tuesday until next June. Help me.
19 Jun 2013 Leave a Comment
Look who’s sitting in the front seat (EVERYONE sits in the front seat now).
Look who’s finished with 3rd grade.
Look who the teacher said she’d miss the most.
Look who’s looking forward to no more piano lessons until August.
Look who told me he no longer needs blue blankie (aka yangster) to sleep at night.
Look who gets bummed when his sister isn’t around.
Look who makes me happy, cranky, giddy, angry, sad, and joyful all at the same time.
Look who is 10 feet tall all of a sudden.
Excuse me while I go cry in a corner.
20 Mar 2013 3 Comments
This is my boy and his all time favorite teacher – Mrs. Jones.
A second after 3rd grade started, the teacher he was supposed to have all year had a baby and Mrs. Jones stepped in. She immediately turned the room into an interactive, dynamic place – new rugs, new wall coverings, new everything. It wasn’t just room B-6, it was Hollywood. All the “kiddos”, as she called them, were mini directors in their own productions. The room was covered in colorful, themed imagery. She was animated and sweet and my boy (and the whole class) loved it.
As the year went on and we all got to know Mrs. Jones, it was clear how much she loved teaching and how much she loved our kids. Yes, all the usual teaching stuff happened. They learned, they read, they wrote. But her class was more than that – it was fun. It was silly. It was over the top. And it was exactly what those little people needed. I’ve never had a teacher send me daily updates (sometimes more!) or pictures of fun things the class did that day. We even got Sunday reminders of what the week ahead would look like. I don’t know about you, but I try very hard to forget where I work from Friday night to Sunday night, not her. It was obvious that this wasn’t a burden for her.
This past week we got a letter from the school that our original teacher (who I’m sure is a wonderful person) is coming back for the last two months of school.
9 year olds crying everywhere.
I still remember my favorite elementary school teacher, Mr. Walter Freeman. 4th Grade. He ate oranges at his desk every morning. When you went up to talk to him, he had a citrus halo around him. Is it weird that almost all my good memories have food related connections? Anyway. He was dreamy.
Teaching is a calling. You need some sort of superpower to be able to walk into those classrooms every day and actually enjoy being there.
So good luck to you Mrs. Jones – there’s a lucky class out there waiting for your cheery voice. Thanks for making a really good memory for my boy.
01 Jan 2013 2 Comments
in Brave New World Tags: Champagne, community, creativity, Eiffel Tower, facebook, Family, food, football, High School, humor, Literature, New Year, News, Paris, Party, Photography, Resolutions, School, Shrimp, Sports, World, Writing
It’s been a year hasn’t it? I won’t go into a list of resolutions (because I don’t have any) or tell you about the happy, tragic, ridiculous things that have happened in the world this year. You can google those. But personally, for me and my fam, this year has been full of change. We leapt into high school, turned 40, let a teenager join Facebook, agreed to let a 9 year play football, saw the Eiffel tower, mended some broken fences (literally and figuratively), discovered gel manicures, skipped Fall Ball and did not feel guilty about it, and oh yeah – started a blog.
I needed a hobby, something besides eating. Last year, around this time, I started thinking about WMEP. In all honesty, I started the blog to write about event planning. After all, it’s what I do, it’s what I love. But then I began thinking about blog titles – and defining myself as just a planner didn’t fit. Something was off. I read a few blogs on how to start blogs. Then, like the true spaz that I am, I read blogs on how to blog successfully. What kind of blog did I want to be? Funny? Informative? Personal? Lots of pressure. I didn’t tell anyone about it at first, but eventually I owned up to my husband. I told him that in order to make it interesting – I may have to put some personal family stuff out into the universe. With photos. Because I’m convinced people need a visual. Or is that just me? He told me to go for it (with a few caveats). And so I did. It took me a few months to get my act together, to get back to writing, to do something that was literally just for me. And I loved it. I love it.
In the beginning I wrote every day – or tried to. It’s been harder the last few months, work and stress and life seem to be taking up all my time. But it’s the start of a new year, I’ve been writing since last April. 178 posts. Over 16,000 views. Almost a 1,000 comments. I’m hooked!
So maybe I will make a resolution for 2013. I resolve to blog every day. Or at least every other day. Every week at the latest.
I resolve to write something in 2013 at some time.
See how tough I am?
We toasted the New Year in last night with shrimp and champagne. Hope you were toasted too.
01 Oct 2012 2 Comments
Back to work.
Back to errands.
Back to dishes, laundry, cooking, cleaning, homework, picking-up/dropping-off, conference calls, deadlines, bills.
Back to being behind on sending out birthday cards, birthday gifts, calling my mom, touching base with friends, making the kids practice piano, eating right, calling my mom, cleaning out my closet.
Back to fake butter, fake cream, the opposite of a flaky croissant, coffee without espresso, no crepes in sight.
I’m going to bed.
Here’s some pictures of my happy place.
16 Sep 2012 7 Comments
in I need to tell you about this right now Tags: Blogging, cheese bread, food, humor, kim kardashian, Life, Passport, random conversation, reading logs, Restaurants, rotten bananas, School, Teachers, travel, tv, Vacation, wine cheese
Everyone’s got some sort of sneezy, snorty, itchy-eyed allergy ridden cold
School’s in full swing, 2 back-to-school nights down, reading logs are already being ignored. Back to normal.
My blogging hasn’t gotten enough love from me, cause I’m tired! Sorry. No more excuses. Back to the everyday blog – starting tomorrow.
Did I tell you that I’m leaving for Paris at the end of the week. The trip of my dreams. A present from my man for my 40th. Did I also tell you that I realized my passport was expired during a random conversation in bed the other night. It’s been fun. The only thing that is sustaining me is traveling to a place where my completely black wardrobe will fit right in. Wine. Cheese. Bread. Black clothes. I may never come back.
Kim Kardashian is always eating on “Keeping Up With The Kardashians”.
Boardwalk Empire starts tonight. I’m excited until I remember that Jimmy was killed off. What’s really left for me?
Am I the only one that gets bit by bugs the nano second I step outside? I’ve been using more Calamine Lotion than moisturizer.
I have 22 almost rotten bananas in my freezer. I see my husband roll his eyes every time he opens the freezer. How many more bananas will it take to drive him bananas? Which one will be the banana that broke his back? Is that a banana in your freezer or are you just nuts?
I saw the woman who does my pedicures in a shoe store – it was an awkward encounter, I don’t know why.
Tomorrow’s blog will be full of humor, intelligence and brilliance! Just kiddin’ – it’ll be more of this shit.
07 Sep 2012 8 Comments
It’s September 7th.
I’m exhausted. Here’s what I’ve been doing this week:
- Kids are a week deep in school. My son’s allergies are in full swing – bloody nose and all. I’ve already explained to the school nurse that he’s totally fine, he’s not in any pain – it just looks like a crime scene from Dexter. On that note – I love that show but I’m not sure if they will ever get back to the glory days of The Ice Truck killer. I digress.
- I went to NYC twice this week. I took a picture each day because I felt like I was in Groundhog day (do you love that movie like I love that movie? Bing!). Same gray day. Same me. Almost same view trapped in a tower.
- I’m looking forward to two things: the weekend, and my Vanity Fair coming in the mail. Did you know there was a Scientology Dating process? Me neither. I’ll report back when I have all the vital info.
- One of the best things about going to NYC is that I get to read The New York Daily Post. Oh how I love that paper. None of that smart, fair reporting that other papers get stuck on. Just ridiculous headlines with a bias slant. Some of my recent favorites: “Headless Body found in Topless Bar”, Bradley Cooper movie review title, “Bradley’s Stupor”. ”Forgive Me Father, For I Have Killed. A Priest Confesses”.
- Ended a Back-to-School night in the best way possible – at a bar. Thank the lord for non-judgemental mothers who don’t look at me with disgust when I suggest we have a drink after the teacher meetings. Ok – full disclosure – I actually wanted to skip the meeting but they made me go.
30 Jul 2012 12 Comments
The kids came home from camp this weekend and the world rejoiced – right? That’s how it felt to me.
My parents waited a whole 2 hours after they got home to call them. My mother lit candles and said prayers – I’m sure all the Indians Gods were involved. I spoke briefly to my father who said just one thing to the kids coming home. He said,”Good.” Then he passed the phone to my mother who took 30 minutes to tell me that only parents who don’t love their kids send them to camp.
That conversation sums up my entire childhood.
Have I ever told you about my dad? I should, you should know him. He loves music – both classical and popular. He has always rocked a ‘stache. He’s got a massive sweet tooth, loves to draw and spends most weekends napping and reading a paper. He’s a man of few words. Actually, no words. The only instance when he tucks into a long narrative story (and still will) is when he talks about his college years. The short period of time when he left home and went to boarding school. Ask him about that and he’ll sing like a canary.
He was one of 4 boys – his mother died after his youngest brother was born. He never told us how. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a picture of her. He was raised in a village – hardcore 3rd world style. His entire education was funded by scholarships. He wanted to be a doctor, worked toward it for years, but didn’t have the money to go to through med school. There was, however, an American initiative to sponsor pharmacists from small Indian villages (not really, but I can’t get a straight answer on how it all went down). They would pay for college and then pharmaceutical school – and in return you would agree to work in either Canada, the U.S. or Africa for a couple of years. He went for it. This was before 9/11 and before the world wide web took over – things were easier.
His stories of that time are amazing. He left home and never looked back, he lived with several different families that took him in and he lived in several different youth hostel type of places. By the time he graduated, he was also married. He decided that Canada was the place for him/them – and made the move. He talks about the move – leaving his country/his family/his new bride – in the most non dramatic way. There’s no big, epic Ellis Island moment where he reached the promised land. The really big news about making the big move? He tried and liked chicken. That was about as “shock and awe” as he gets.
My mother stayed back in India while my dad set-up shop. He eventually decided that New York City was a better option vs. Toronto. And that’s how we landed on Plymouth – I mean Queens….via Canada.
For the most part – I had a very boring, protected childhood. My parents didn’t really fight – it was usually my mother yelling about something and my dad reading a paper. I don’t remember him ever raising his voice at me or my sister – he may have nodded along while my mother ripped us apart but nothing more than that. Sister – do you concur?
There was one part of our life where he was very vocal and aggressive – school. He knew about every homework assignment and every project. He went to all the conferences and meetings and attended every concert (did I tell you I was in choir for 8 years, and that we made Nationals in High School – we did a rendition of Phantom that would knock you over. Sorry).
He is the most opposite of my mother as anyone could and would be. She is the fizzy, bubbling tablet to his still water. Forget the yin to her yang – he’s the calming yogurt to her spicy curry. I can hear my sister rolling her eyes so I’ll stop now.
My baby was born on the same day as my father – which is ironic considering he has my mother’s disposition.
I wonder who I’m like? I’m probably the best of both of them….yeah. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
Here’s a couple of pics of my dad – one from his wild, chicken eating Canadian days – and one from today (technically last Christmas)