Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It's Going to be an Interesting School Year

Over the years, I have heard time and time again that I am going to make a ton of friends once the girls start school. While I am certainly happy with the friends I have, they are everywhere that I am not, on account of us moving every ten minutes. Like it or not, I need to make some new friends here in Tennessee. I thought that the perfect chance to meet new people would be at the kindergarten orientation at Ella's school last week.

I had no idea that kindergarten orientation would be such an incredible opportunity to people watch. I walked in with a few minutes to spare before the teacher began her presentation. As I scoped out the room to find a seat (they were hard to find as they are chairs that are about 6 inches off the ground. I noticed the clique in the right hand corner or mothers and fathers who all knew each other. I was one of the few people who was without a spouse there. I found a chair, sat down and started to fill out the questionnaire the teacher had provided.

A minute into my paperwork, the door opened and a well-dressed woman came in with her Louis Vuitton bag. With a dog in it. As if she had forgotten that dogs weren't actually allowed in the classroom, she left the bag and the dog in the hallway for her children to play with. Because it MUST be OK to have a dog in the hallway of a school. To be played with. I was wondering if this was the same dog who showed up at Ella's dance class the night before. I.am.not.kidding.

Five minutes into the teacher's presentation, the door opened, and in walked a very harried woman. I am assuming she was harried because there was a lot of sighing and exhaling and such as she breezed in. She rushed around the room to find a seat, where she proceeded to sit down and start eating. Did I mention that she brought in a bowl of cereal? At 6:00 at night? The ceramic kind of bowl found in any kitchen in America? At a fucking KINDERGARTEN ORIENTATION?! Judging from the clanging of her spoon, and the crunching, the cereal was something special and just couldn't wait to be eaten.

And then there was THAT MOTHER. You know the kind. THAT MOTHER is the mother who has to always interrupt a speaker and inject their opinions, life stories or overall bullshit. All the teacher wanted to do was to give her presentation, say hi to the parents and get the hell home. But no, THAT MOTHER hijacked the presentation by peppering comments in places that didn't need peppering. She asked stupid questions, even though the teacher said there weren't any stupid questions. She lied--there were stupid questions, and THAT MOTHER asked them. She was also the person who literally jumped over the chairs and table to get to the teacher first after the presentation was over so that she could discuss how smart and special her child is.

Looking around the room and watching Mrs. Vuitton, the Cereal Eater, THAT MOTHER and the two women on opposite sides of the room having a duel to see who could snap their gum the most/fastest/loudest, I pretty much figured out that I will be searching elsewhere for new friends.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

It's Good to Think Ahead

"Guess what, Mommy? You know what? When I grow up and have my two twin babies, I know what I'm going to name them."

"What's that Ella?"

"The girl baby's name is going to be Sparkle. The boy baby's name is going to be Handsome. Handsome Prince Hausfrau."

Friday, August 22, 2008

PMS + Forcing Child Onto School Bus for the First Time=Puddle of Tears from Mommy

It has been quite a week here. Corey started his job at Vanderbilt and Ella had her first day of kindergarten on Tuesday. While you probably saw the photos from the previous post, those photos were taken well before we actually got to school. When I escorted her to her classroom, she panicked and cried. She was the only kid who cried. I spent so much time talking her down that I didn't really have much time to think about the fact that my baby's life was changing forever.

When I picked up Ella that afternoon, she was bursting with news and telling me everything that had happened in class that day. I thought then, that we would be alright.

Today is her second 1/2 day of kindergarten. Starting next week she will go everyday all day. My neighbor and I decided that we would have our kids ride the bus together. While Ella had already voiced some hesitancy to ride the bus, she immediately became excited when she found out that Aiden would sit with her.

Then the bus pulled up.

Aiden barely waited for the bus to come to a complete stop and open the door before he was on and in his seat. Ella started to immediately cry and say that she didn't want to ride the bus and that she was scared. Sure it was scary! It is big and yellow and LOUD! Nevertheless, I firmly pushed her up the stairs and she sat in the front seat next to Aiden with all of the moms cheering Ella on. She sat next to Aiden and stopped crying. The bus driver winked at me and mouthed, "It's OK." God knows he has seen this before. The bus pulled away and all of us mothers waved and blew kisses as they left. The other moms told me that it was OK to cry and that they had done so when their children rode the bus for the first time. I told them I was fine and walked back to the house.

And then I cried.

It wasn't the fact that I didn't want to let my baby go. I am perfectly fine having my children experience milestones in their lives. I cried because of the look of fear on Ella's face as the bus pulled away. I realized that this was one time that I couldn't comfort her and make it better FOR HER. I couldn't eliminate her fear. For the first time in her life, on bus #145, Ella was going to have to solve her own problem and figure it out on her own. That realization hit me like a ton of bricks. Ella is a big kid. She needs to start embracing that role and owning it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


It is hard to believe that 5 3/4 years ago, I was holding my first child. She was an easy-going, calm baby. She was big--8.6 lbs. I was quite pleased that I had pushed her out all by myself. She only cried when she was hungry and started sleeping through the night at six weeks. We had it made. The last thing I was thinking about was the fact that she would actually grow up.

My baby started kindergarten today.

Monday, August 18, 2008


When we started to telling people that we were moving to Nashville, we heard nothing but great things from friends and strangers alike:

"You are going to LOVE it there!"

"Nashville is so cool!"

"You will get so much house for your money!"

"Wow, I am so jealous!"

"It is so nice living in the South!"

"The weather is great in the winter."

There is just one thing. None of these "Friends" told me that we would be encountering some scary-ass critters.

Exhibit One:

When my friend Laura and I went for a walk with our kids Friday morning, we encountered a strange HUGE red and black striped ant. The girls were chasing it, but it was quick and not hanging around to let four little ones poke and prod it. I commented to Laura that it really seemed to have the body of a yellow-jacket but it was, well, RED and BLACK and didn't have wings. When a bug is red, I think it means, "DANGER" When I got home and Googled, "BIG Red ANT," I got this:

THIS is called a Red Velvet Ant, or Cow Killer. According to Whatsthatbug.com, it is actually a wingless female WASP whose sting has been know to kill cows because of the pain. Suffice it to say, if I ever see the winged male variety, I will probably soil myself as I run away screaming like the girl I apparently never knew I was.

Exhibit Two: Ever since I've gotten here, I have had the feeling that bugs have been on me, but when I shoo them away, there is nothing there. I thought I was going loco. Until, that is, I started getting itchy ITCHY bites all over my legs. Genna has them too. I initially thought they were mosquito bites, but I am pretty sure they are CHIGGERS!

OMFG! Have you ever had these? The itching is driving me absolutely insane. I am also losing my mind because I can't see them. I have been told by two of my co-workers from the south that I am going to have to cover the bumps with clear nail polish so that the little darlings will be suffocated. I am not sure why Corey and Ella haven't gotten them, but I am grateful.

Exhibit Three: I think I killed a beetle that looked an awful lot like this in our house this week:

I wasn't too concerned at the time because I hadn't run into the Red Velvet Ant yet. Now I am not sure sure I should have been so blase about it.

And finally, Exhibit Four:

I was talking to my friend Lori on the phone yesterday afternoon, when I came across this on my window:

This is a stick bug (um, I guess it was impossible to come up with a more original name.) I know they are harmless and I know that they are often kept as pets, it isn't ever going to be a pet in MY home. Anything that is longer than six inches in the insect class is going to freak me the hell out.

Keep in mind, I wasn't afraid of bugs or critters up until this week. I've even killed lots of nasty bus and snakes and mice. One co-worker told me today that I need to toughen up. My other co-worker told me to prepare for the first wolf spider or black widow to come into the house. I am taking no chances. I am calling ORKIN tomorrow. Or wrapping myself and my home in Saran Wrap.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Reason Number #4598 Why I Love the Internet

Since my social calendar isn't exactly full yet and I am not all that interested in the Olympics, I have had some time to explore the internet.

I found a site that takes your name and turns it into a name for a piece of IKEA furniture. It gave me minutes of amusement.

Consider this my gift to you. I'm a giver, what can I say? There is no need to thank me. By the way, my Swedish Furniture name is DAUNNANVIK and I am a three drawer chest. Let me know what your name is and what kind of furniture you are.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Getting Settled

It's hard to believe that we got to Tennessee nine days ago. We left the girls with their grandmother in Indiana so that we would have a few days to paint their bedrooms. We also painted the dining room because I knew I wouldn't want to move anything later once I put away my china. It was good to try to get out and get a lay of the land before the moving truck and the girls came. What stunk was that we had nothing to sit on except for our blow-up bed. We were able to use someone's unsecured WiFi so that we could have Internet access. It proved to be valuable when we had to look up a phone number or address to a store every 10 minutes.

The moving truck came on Sunday. We were disappointed that we had several items break. We've always had at least one minor thing break in a move--one has to expect that. However, it is clear that the driver was lazy and threw a lot of our stuff in the truck. As a result, our box springs, Genna's mattress, glass from our sliding door bookshelves, picture frames and several other smaller items will need to be replaced. We are looking at filing a claim for about $1000. The moving company will most assuredly fight us on it. Good times.

We spent the next three days unpacking boxes and trying to find a place for everything. The girls came back on Sunday evening, so they enjoyed the boxes for about an hour. Then they were over it and wanted us to entertain them. This move has been rough on them. Ella has been crying daily because she misses her friends Katie, Jade and Matthew. Genna cries right along with her. They get upset if I am in another room and they can't hear me. As a result, they are following me everywhere like a couple of lost dogs. They really dislike the fact that their bedrooms are on the second floor and ours is on the first. Genna kept sneaking into Ella's room and sleeping with her in the middle of the night, so we moved her bed into Ella's room. I'm pretty pleased with that since I thought they should be sharing a room anyway. It will be good when Genna starts daycare on Monday and Ella starts school next week.

I've only cried once this week, which I think is pretty good. I usually have one meltdown when we move. It always involves my getting lost on the way home from somewhere. This time, my GPS wasn't working, so I couldn't retrace my steps. I called Corey who was rattling off the directions at 90 mph when he knew damned well that I was DRIVING and couldn't possibly remember them. Then my phone died. Did I mention that we live in the boonies where the roads are windy, hilly, wooded and really narrow? Did I tell you that it was 100 degrees outside and that I noticed that the arrow on my temperature gauge was on the "H"? I had to turn off the air conditioning, roll down the windows and try to find my way home. As I cried, I yelled at Corey, blaming him for everything. It was HIS fault that he moved me, yet again, to someplace new. It was HIS fault that I was lost because my GPS didn't work. It was TOTALLY his fault that I didn't charge my phone and didn't have my car charger handy. It was also his fault that I couldn't use my air conditioning. By the time I got home over an hour later (the trip should have been 12 miles round-trip) I was exhausted. And really sweaty.

The neighbors are proving to be very friendly. Our house is one of about 25 homes in a new development. Eventually there will be about 100 homes, but for now, it is a nice-sized neighborhood. We are connected to another community that has more than 300 homes, so we are able to use their amenities, but we have the benefit of virtually no traffic. All of the roads are built, but only a couple of homes are being built at a time, so the roads will be perfect for teaching the kids to ride their bikes. There are a ton of kids the girls' ages, so that is definitely a good thing. Ella has already decided that she is in love with Aiden, the red-haired boy next door. Since she has a red-haired boyfriend in PA named Matthew, I fear she is going to get a reputation. She is following in her father's footsteps in that he only dated redheads.

I am glad to be going back to work on Monday from home. It will be good to go back to some routine. Corey doesn't start work at Vanderbilt until the 18th so he will have a huge list of things to do next week.

That's really all I have for an update. I will spend the afternoon watching Ocean's Eleven to honor Bernie Mac.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


Tired of boxes. And paper. I thought we moved to Nashville, but it feels like the Sahara. With humidity. Lots and lots of humidity. And BUGS!

So very tired...