Thursday, April 24, 2008

Who wrote the kindegarten book of love?????

Apparently Jet and Audrey think that they did. Yes, it was an exciting afternoon for the 5 year olds in South La Grange. Kindergarten tea was yesterday afternoon. This is when the upcoming kindergarten class gets to see their new school, teacher and peers accompanied by their parents. Jet and I were walking up to school when my good friend Suzy and Jet's best friend Audrey stopped to give us a lift (the school is only 2 blocks away but we took the ride anyways.)

A little background here, Jet loves Audrey and vice verse. There isn't a week that goes by where I'm not tossing envelopes with pictures colored, drawn or painted for Audrey. One week I counted 15! Drives me crazy especially when he uses real postage stamps! Audrey lives across the street.

So as we walk into the school and all the mom's were holding and directing children to the classroom, Jet and Audrey left Suzy and I in the dust. They held hands, swinging them back and forth, giggled and didn't look back. Suzy and I debated whether to stick around to see the classroom or hit TJ MAXX instead. We didn't want to be labeled "bad mommies' on the first day so we stuck it out.

In the classroom, Audrey and Jet found a small table to color on. Two other boys sat at the table though I'm sure our two totally ignored them. The mom's were whisked off to a lunchroom for tea/chat time .... consisting of water and alphabet pretzels .... while the kids stayed, colored, sang and met their new teacher. 45 minutes later we were back in the classroom and thus concluded Jet and Audrey's first kindergarten experience.

Both Suzy and I agreed that it was probably a good thing that next year Jet goes in the morning and Audrey in the afternoon. god help us when those two get into the same classroom ... not sure how much learning would go on!

One of the Best Value's in Chicago!!!

Chicago is expensive ... high taxes, high housing, high cost of living and high gas (thanks to an 85cents gallon tax - we have some of the costliest gas in the country).
When you find a good value here, you record it! Well, for $1 per knife or $2 per scissors, you can get your utensils sharpened curbside. This gentleman comes around once a year with his sharpener to keep us all in cutting shape! He walks the sidewalks, bell ringing to draw customers out. He does a good business and stays in great shape. Definitely from the old country (Chicago has the highest polish/czech/romanian population outside of Eastern Europe), I trust nobody else with my cutlery. Thought you'd enjoy seeing old school and a great value!
The other big news beyond kindergarten tea was that Chris was promoted to President running the entire North America division of De La Rue (USA and Canada). We are so proud. He'll be busy and on the road a ton (lots of trips to Europe) but we'll make due. Question .... does this make me a First Lady? I think I need a new designer wardrobe for this role.

Friday, April 18, 2008

A Spring Concert ... What were they thinking!!!!

Spring has sprung and so have all the festivities including Charlie's class concert. It was, well let's just say, a bit chaotic. Imagine 60 three and four year old singing to 200 parents, grandparents and siblings ... never mind that these are special ed classrooms. Add to the mix a hot gymnasium, standing room only and a program that runs 45 minutes long for kids that have the attention span of 3 minutes on a good day ... it was a bit painful.

Our Charlie however stole the show. He was in the first row for the first song. After the song was sung, applause broke out in the gym. Charlie stepped forward by himself, placed his left hand on his tummy, raised his right hand over his head flamboyantly and brought it down with his body in a deep bow. It was if he was taking credit for orchestrating the entire performance. Of course laughter ensued and Charlie knew he had an audience.

Charlie had all the movements to the songs down. He was very good. While other kids were breaking down right and left ... our Charlie hit his stride.

As you can see, a bit of chaos ensued, teachers trying to get kids back to the stage, meanwhile several took on their own agenda.
Well this will probably be the first of many performances over the school years for Charlie. We're glad he's definitely comfortable in front of a large audience!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Welcome the newest member(s) of our family!

Yes ... after many years of saying no more pets ... we, like most parents, caved. We like to introduce you to Jet's newest friend that he fondly named, Happy Heart Ladybug. You've probably noticed that I'm putting plurals in behind the singular in the title ... "why?" you ask. Because on some days, Happy Heart's family & friends comes to visit because they miss him. I was a little leary at first but now I must admit, Happy Heart (H.H.) is an ideal pet. He lives in a container by Jet's bed. We've only had to feed him once ... adding leaves and a little dirt to the container and no toilet requirements needed. Our boys have built homes inside the container for H.H. and even used an old jewelry container as a pool/bath. Somedays, H.H. isn't moving around much, so Mom scoots him a little bit ... to get him going where he needs to be and create a little excitement. The newest trick is to check our bathroom each morning to see if H.H.'s friends and relatives have shown up for a party. We've had up to 4 sleeping over. Sometimes they've partied all night long and woke up a little hung
over as shown in the photo to the left ... wings sprawled, not moving ... barely breathing (if that). Hey, we've all been there ... we can't fault them for living it up a bit. Well it's a miracle but somehow they come back to life before Jet gets home from preschool.
If you are considering a pet ... I highly recommend looking in your garden for these cheerful, friendly, compliant, quiet creatures. We find them most agreeable!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

If you can't due the time then don't do the crime!

I got one of the few rare phone calls from Charlie's teacher this morning. She was reporting in that Charlie was crying for the first time since school began. WHAT??!!! This is the same kid that cries before noon on most days and whose wails are unrelenting? Wow - I think was my response - how did they accomplish a feat that I rank up there with winning a gymnastics gold in Bejing. She reported that he was crying because he was put in the cube chair to sit by himself for a few minutes ... "Oh" I replied back ... now it making sense, "He always cries during time-outs. What's the crime?" "Well, I guess it was kind of a time-out (side note to the empty nesters - even time-outs are becoming taboo these days). We were making cupcakes today for snack time ... measuring, mixing, combining ingredients. Charlie got a hold of the beaters ... I'm so sorry .... I know that he's on a dairy-free diet. He got to licking and wouldn't put it down." Wow - I thought ... this was Charlie's first time-out for the WHOLE year at school! Are they drugging him when he gets there? "Anyways, we just wanted to let you know because he just had a hard time calming himself down". "AH" I retorted and in my mind I was thinking ... Did he cry for 45 minutes straight like at home ... with a few extra dramatic points ... arms flailing, toys thrown, full out on the floor ... this kid is set for an Oscar! "We were able to calm him down in a few minutes when we brought out the spring toy box for him to look at". Oh my goodness ... Charlie's hit the mother-load today was my first thought - he's so damn smart. We ended our conversation on a shared chuckle about who couldn't control themselves over a beater full of chocolate.
So as I'm waiting for his bus to pull up at the end of our driveway ... I'm imagining the crime scene at school. Charlie backed into a corner, mouth smeared with chocolate, crazed look in his eyes, "Don't come any closer I'm telling you. I have a beater and I'm not afraid to launch it."
The bus pulls up. I get on to get Charlie off and he immediately begins to cry. "Busdriver Dave, has Charlie been crying since you left school?" "No I think it just started when you got on the bus. But ya know ... I could be wrong ... I just tune it all out" Poor Busdriver Dave ... not a great way to spend retirement years.
Mom: Charlie, what's wrong?
Charlie: sob I had to sit in the cube chair by myself. sob
Mom: Why was that Charlie?
Charlie: sob Because I was sob crying.
Mom: Why were you in the chair and crying?
Charlie: big sob Because I licked chocolate.
Mom: Well Charlie ... don't do the crime if you can't do the time.
Charlie: sob I had a bad day.

That's when the Dave Powter "bad day" song - immortalized on American Idol - began playing in my head and it hasn't left me since.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

What are Bernie Mevs?

Not Bernie Macs by the way ... he would be an actor!

The picture shows the Bernie Mevs that I referenced in my previous blog.

There was such an abundance of Silver Honda Odessey's at the grocers yesterday, I couldn't figure out where we parked ... Honest to God.

Mommy: Wow, which one is our car? There are so many.

Jet: Mommy, I have an idea. Hit the red button on your key and the car that lights up is ours.

Mommy: Good thinking, Jet. Let's see .... (off goes the alarm noise).

Jet: There it is Mommy.

Mommy: Thank you Jet. Slap another sticker on your chart for creative thinking.

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Final Bell

Do you ever feel that birthdays have totally gotten out of control? Well I do! These are no longer a "one"night affair ... there's the school celebrations, and usually a friend celebration. Well, much like major bigwigs, starlets and singers get to ring the final bell on Wall Street ... I'm sounding the final bell on the Reagan Birthdays. We had Charlie's school party Wednesday and I decided that even though a few families from his school are coming for a cookout this Saturday ... birthday season is closed.

Charlie's IEP was yesterday. There was a ton of prep work that myself and his psychologist completed prior to this meeting. It was discouraging as the school district decision maker did not attend the meeing and her input is needed for Charlie's next year placement. Now it means another meeting. Ick. As I have Cathleen on the clock - Charlie's psychologist - its getting costly.
Warmer weather is finally coming our way. We're suppose to hit the 60's tomorrow. Yes! We can get outside again. We have a new pet ladybug named Happy Heart that is currently living in Jet's room. The boys love Happy Heart and care is minimal so I'm loving Happy Heart too. Welcome to the family Happy Heart! May you gain many spots in our home.

Well to end on a bummer note, for those of you who remember our dear dog Corky, we received word today that she had passed. We feel blessed that she spent the end years of her life in beautiful homes surrounded by caring people. Restful for her ... not around crazy kids. Well, it saddens my day but I'm glad she's in a better place, she had a lot of arthritic pain.