Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas Cards

In the past I have gone back and forth about Christmas cards. One year sent, next not, next 2 years sent, next few not. It all depends on my level of stress whether or not I send cards.

But this past summer we had some beautiful family photos taken and I am thinking that 2010 is a "sent" year. I really cannot send prints to "everyone," but as a Christmas card, everyone appreciates seeing the 'whole family' rather than just the girls.

Shutterfly has an awesome new selection of holiday cards (click here). I might think too awesome because I just cannot choose which one to use. I love them all!

There are different types of cards to choose from such as folded cards, flat stationery cards, and flat photo cards (click here). I can do just one family photo or individual shots of each of us, or a combo of different poses - the possibilities are endless!

Shutterfly has a layout to fit every Christmas card need. Want just one photo on your card? 2? more? The layout options are endless and it's very easy to upload your photos and add them to the card layout.

A great gift I have sent in the past is a photo calendar (click here). Each month your family turns the calendar page to see another great family photo! This is a wonderful gift for far-away relatives!

This year, I'll be sending Shutterfly photo Christmas cards, you should too!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

1st Day of Middle School

Woke up with this in my head this morning, much to Shelby's dismay... haha.

(Sung to the tune of the Beatle's "Yesterday")

First day of school today
My little girl looks so grown up, and hey-
All those preschool days are far away
My baby starts middle school today

How did she
Ever get to be taller than me?
That's not hard because I'm 5'3
My baby starts middle school today

Why'd she have to grow?
And not slow - it went so fast!
Those cute baby days, went away
She's in middle school today-ay-ay-ay

First day of school today,
Soon I'll wipe my tears and shout HOORAY
But 3 o'clock will come so quick, and hey
She'll be back home
And I'll hope for the second day!

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Keep on Cheering in the Free World!

Sorry Bob Dylan but that's the song I'm singing loud and proud. With one pom-pom-carrying fist raised to the heavens I will make sure justice is carried out and cheerleaders throughout my community are represented and protected.

Okay, I haven't lost my mind, I've just attended the first of many mandatory (yes, MANDATORY) cheer-parent meetings of the season. Now before you get your bloomers in a bunch let me state here the obligatory disclaimer: This post is purely satirical. I do not intend to blaspheme, slander, disrespect or otherwise misrepresent ANYONE involved with our local cheerleader organization. Hell, I was even a Team Mom for one season and regret enjoyed it immensely. I respect everyone involved with the organization and thank you for what you do throughout the year. Just keep in mind that my twisted sense of humor must find irony and sarcasm in everything around me lest I go insane. So I apologize in advance to anyone involved for anything said that offends. Lighten up and take a minute to see it from my smart-alecky point of view. You just may laugh, too.

Anyway, this past week was the first week of cheer practice. My 12 year old has been a cheerleader for half her life. That hurt just to type it. Anyone who knows me from high school knows I have a love/hate relationship with cheerleading. I love it because my daughter does. She LIVES cheerleading for three months out of the year. We hear cheers being recited from the shower, continually listen to cheer music being blasted from speakers while routines are learned and practiced and we recite "one,two - three,four - five,six - se...ven,EIGHT" over and over in our sleep. We gladly and proudly support our cheerleader and her efforts to perfect her high-jumps and cartwheels right down to a 'high V, low V, daggers, T!!" We attend every game and practice and the ultimate of every cheerleader's career...Competition! I love to watch her on the sidelines even when the temps dip below my comfort range of 68 - 75 degreesF and I haven't spiked my hot chocolate with anything stronger than milk. She's my daughter and what makes her happy, makes me happy.

However...(you knew that was coming, right?)...let me get to the root of the 'hate' portion. I wanted to be a cheerleader in high school. I dreamed of being a cheerleader with the cute short-skirted uniform worn to school the day before game day and the perfected high-jumps and cartwheels. But we all know the end of this story. I tried out freshman year and didn't make it. My high-jumps and cartwheels were FAR from perfect, but more importantly, I wasn't part of the "in" crowd and my pom-poms just weren't big enough to fill the cheer sweater. Cliques and scornful looks and snide comments ended my cheering career before it even began. Can you blame me for my resulting distaste for cheerleaders that has hung on for more than ::ahem:: ... well, A LOT of years?

So with the first week of my daughter's cheer practice comes the first mandatory parent meeting. I really don't know what would happen if neither Randy nor I attended these meetings, but frankly they have me too scared to find out. These cheerleader Leaders have everyone intimidated. We have to line up no sooner than one minute before practice starts to sign the girls in, line up no later than one minute after practice ends to sign the girls out, line up to sign in for the meeting. Don't forget to get your color-coded folder-stocked-with-many-forms-to-fill-out-and-return-ASAP-or-your-daughter-will-never-be-allowed-to-cheer-again. And puh-lease sit quietly and attentively while we go over this season's rules, which are almost identical to last season's rules but with a few more thrown in for fun.

My favorite one of the communist-rules yesterday was: There are too many bathroom breaks being taken so puh-lease make sure your cheerleader goes before leaving the house. Doesn't sound too unreasonable, right? Well, cheer practice is 2 hours long in the HOT sun and they are required by rules encouraged to bring a water bottle to stay hydrated. Now I know my bladder is many, many years older than theirs, but I know I couldn't continually hydrate AND jump around for two hours without having to pee (or pee myself). What's the answer? Scheduled bathroom breaks? Don't drink TOO much? Cheer in the shade? I don't know, but I'm heading to Wal-Mart to get my daughter pull-ups 'just-in-case.'

Another chuckle escaped from me when the subject of fundraising came up. We have two fundraisers for great reasons. The girls get t-shirts for 'free' and fair entry for 'free' and trophies and banquet dinner for 'free,' and the girls love all this 'free' stuff. But we parents pay for it and once again, I am not saying this is wrong. I just don't like being told that each girl is 'required to donate' a set amount for one fundraiser. I know that many parents slack off on various sport and school-related fundraisers and I've been guilty of this as well. But the hell-bent on rebellion part of me resents being told I HAVE to do anything. And being told that I HAVE to write a check (or beg family and friends) for a certain amount or my daughter will NOT get her uniform just burns my ...backside. Sounds a bit like extortion, doesn't it? I've paid the registration fee and the snack fee and the refundable uniform deposit fee. I have bought the required parts of the uniform that my daughter has grown out of and have paid for new cheer sneakers. I will buy my hot chocolate at the concession stand and buy 50/50 raffle tickets at the games. I will purchase assorted team logo-wear for both my daughter and myself. I will cheerfully and willingly drive my daughter to and from practices and games no matter how far away. And I will buy our tickets to the banquet to watch my daughter eat her 'free' meal and receive her 'free' trophy which will more than likely end up in a box in her closet with the many other 'free' trophies I've paid for over the years. Maybe I should start a Christmas Club account this year for next years expenses, or have an allotment sent from Randy's paycheck straight to their account. All this aside, piss-poor planning on my part DOES require you to hear about it. Any amount of money for my daughter to be happy. (That sound you heard was coffee spewing from my nostrils - did you choke on that line too? haha!)

I dearly hope nobody takes this to heart. Seriously. A little humor (usually at someone else's expense) goes a long way to helping me get through the day, and like I said before this was all written tongue-in-cheek (well, MOST of it anyway). My daughter is at that age where self-esteem and self confidence can take a hit quite easily if I get too careless and leave my mommy-watch for a minute. I am beyond grateful and thankful that for at least three months out of the year cheering gives her this self-confidence boost. God knows that at her age or even now I wouldn't have the nuts guts to get up in front of a crowd and do what she does.

Yes, I am all talk and no action. A-C-T-I-O-N ACTION!

"Why some animals eat their young"...

...or "NOW I know why the female praying mantis kills her spouse after mating."

It is almost 1 AM, as in "the morning." My day started at 8 AM - yesterday. It was a normal day around our household. That's not always a good thing. There were three girls (Shelby had a friend sleep over) and I here all day. At times I had a few minutes to myself...while the girls played Wii downstairs, when they went outside, while I was in the shower (although I did have to explain why I wasn't in the position to take a phone call while showering...).

The rest of the hours were filled with the sounds of children: laughter (Shelby and her friend) and arguing (Kathleen and Shelby) - and the remnants of children: empty soda cans left in various places (none of which were the recycling bin), dirty dishes not put in the dishwasher, lights left on in broad daylight, flip flops left under the dining table and in front of doorways, more dirty dishes left on top of the stove, empty food boxes and a milk carton left on the kitchen counter, more lights (and the television) left on downstairs...get the picture?

Oh, I almost forgot the dirty looks and rolling eyes I got everytime I told someone to stop arguing or to pick up the messes left behind. Academy Awards could've been handed out right and left today to the person with "Loudest Sigh" or "Most Profanity yelled at a Sister" or "Most Dramatic Eye-Roll."

Guiness would be proud at the records broken today for "Highest Number of Drinking Glasses Used" and "Adding the Most Letter "O's" to the Name 'Mo-o-o-o-o-o-o-om" and "Ignoring Your Mother Calling You the Longest".

Yes, it was a normal day around here. And according to the Mothering Handbook that I have yet to see in existence, let alone read, I'm supposed to take it all in and roll with the punches. Not. This. Mom.

I'm sorry, but after 18 glorious hours of mothering I am tired of it. Don't get me wrong, I love my daughters more than anything else in this world. I would do anything for them and lay down my life for them. But apparently asking for a little help around here is equal to telling them they have to run naked down the middle of Route 12. Now, they are not bad kids - not at all - and sometimes I do get a bit of help: some vacuuming, dishes loaded or unloaded, laundry that makes it all-the-way-to-the-washer rather than thrown down the cellar stairs (a tear just came to my eye).

But I digress. This post really isn't about what they do or do not do. It's more about me (of course). I want to know just how long in one 24 hour period do I have to 'graciously' (and if you know me, you know I use that tern loosely) put up with this crap? Seriously. Less than an hour ago chaos nearly erupted because it was LATE and I was still hearing about a loose tooth that won't come out and was asked avery two minutes to "just LOOK at it" and ::::gasp:::: I just didn't want to. AND I couldn't find my damn glasses so I COULD see it and get it over with.

So fussing ensued and voices were raised and daddy had to come out of his room and console the person who 'only wanted Mom to look at my tooth.' Sharp looks were exchanged and even sharper words flew across the room and here I sit on the computer at 1 AM!!!

Really? I thought my day was over. Don't laugh. My girls are older and do not require round-the-clock supervision and constant monitoring. I don't want to neglect them, I just want to stop referreeing. At any given time during my day I yell "Take it outside" like a barroom bouncer. Most times I'd give anything to see them duking it out in the front yard rather than have to listen to the petty bickering over who's breathing whose air or who looked at whom.

WHERE in the manual does it say I have to be NICE??? I love them, I feed them, I give them a place to live. I don't have to tattoo "Welcome" on my forehead.

Whew...I feel a little bit better. If you feel the need to comment on this rant, please do and try to keep it pleasant. I don't need you to agree with me, but I don't want to hear what a crappy mother I am. Because it may just send me to the roof with a pair of binoculars and a BB gun. And I'm NOT taking prisoners.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

What I learned on my summer vacation...

I know, it's supposed to be what I 'did' on my summer vacation. But this summer has taught me a few things so far and I wanted to share them. So here goes...

~ The first person to pack for vacation gets the biggest suitcase. And it wasn't me.

~ People who drive a constant 50 MPH in the fast lane should not be allowed to drive on the interstate.

~ Put two daughters in a car with one mom for hours on end and you are bound to want to drive off the road every mile or so.

~ Living out of suitcases in your trunk for two weeks can test anyone's patience and organizations skills - both of which I don't usually have but acquired at the most inopportune time.

~ Head beers (aka keg-stands) by grown adults are usually laughable but when done successfully, are admirable.

~ You can't drink ALL DAY if you don't start in the morning.

~ Hearing someone announce "I sang with the band!" the next morning means you all had a great time last night.

~ Don't even attempt to stay overnight at a hotel with a 'heated' pool and non-working hot tub. You will regret it.

~ Many, many years after the first time, I still cannot ride a horse.

~ You can feel like family with people who have no blood relation to you and you can feel like you've never been apart with family you don't see often enough.

~ Eating 'bar food' is perfectly healthy if everyone else is eating it too.

~ Sending your child to the bar to get cheese curds and a kiddie cocktail by herself is not considered irresponsible at the campground.

~ Leaving your 17 year old at the bar by herself to stay on the internet ALSO is not considered irresponsible at the campground.

~ A 'girl's only' trip can be a way to bond with your daughters one minute and know why some animals eat their young the next.

And finally...I can be the sole responsible adult and driver on a trip a third of the way across the country and make it there and back safely! Yeay me!

Monday, June 28, 2010

What's been goin' on ova heeyah

Well, it's been a busy few months around the ol' homestead and most of it stressful. We (and I do mean 'we') successfully managed to graduate from Ledyard High School, although Kathleen was the only one to walk up to get the diploma. Seriously, I am so proud of her, but I definitely could have done without the stress of last minute assignments and down to the wire test scores. Goodness...

But graduation evening was a wonderful one with bright sunshiney weather and joyful tears as my oldest baby reached an important milestone in her life. Love ya Chicken!

Not to be outdone, Shelby successfully 'graduated' from 6th grade in elementary school and will be a big middle-school seventh grader in September. For the first time in twelve years I will not have a child in elementary school. Goodness again...

Randy has had the most horrendous schedule on the submarine recently. We've seen less and less of him as time goes by and will see even LESS of him this summer. Such is the life I keep telling myself. Thankfully he was able to come home for a few hours and attend Kathleen's graduation ceremony.

We had some family portraits taken last weekend by a wonderful photographer recommended by a friend. They are beautiful and capture our family's personality perfectly. You can see some of them here just scroll down to "The Reid Family" and click in the center of the flag for a slide show. We had such a great time during this photo session even though I usually 'hate' having my picture taken. I do look at myself in some of them and say "OMG!" but it is what it is and I really do like them. :)

I've also been busy making cakes. Graduation, baby shower, birthday... You can see them here

Well the girls and I are taking a little "R & R" soon and I'm looking forward to that although I'll mostly hear "I'm bored" so many times I'll go out of my mind. Let's hope I bring them home with me....hahaha :::evil laugh:::

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dear Blog,

I know I have neglected you. I have not posted for a while, but please know I think of you often. I usually have a lot to say, I just haven't been saying it here. I apologize profusely and promise to be better. After all, an aspiring author should be writing something somewhere and I have not. Life gets in the way sometimes and I do have to tell you that my life has been in everybody's way lately!

So with head hung low and apologies galore, I vow not to neglect you (this much) again. See you soon...


Monday, April 26, 2010

It's National Knit & Crochet Blogging Week!

And I haven't yet received a card or small flower arrangement to commemorate this occasion from anyone! Well, that's okay, I forgive you all. Especially those of you who look at me from time to time with huge eyes when I tell you what a certain skein of yarn costs. Just remember, we're all a little bit crazy, mine just shows sometimes.

So the topic of the day is: How and when did you begin knitting/crocheting? was it a skill passed down through generations of your family, or something you learned from Knitting For Dummies? What or who made you pick up the needles/hook for the first time? Was it the celebrity knitting ‘trend’ or your great aunt Hilda?

I started crocheting when I was only four years old. My grandmother and mom crocheted colorful afghans for everyone in the family and I wanted in on the fun. I could only make a chain stitch at the time, but I made it about a million feet long and was so proud of myself.

As I got older I made a few afghans myself and then turned to other creative outlets for a while. I was around 20 when I taught myself to knit with a little help from my (now) ex-mother-in-law and over time managed to make a couple sweaters, one that fit and one that didn't. haha.

I put the needles down for a few years when my kids were younger but started again in earnest a few years ago. I've made several pairs of socks, hats, scarves, shawls, mittens, etc. and have lots more yarn waiting to be made into something fabulous!

Knitting relaxes me, really, and I need to do a little bit everyday. I like to challenge myself with more difficult patterns and beautiful, exotic yarns, but very now and then a plain old straight sock pattern is just what the Knitting goddess ordered!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

THE photo...

Just love this. The love, the innocence, the emotion of having her daddy home, finally. This was not posed, just captured. Lucky me.
Love this, love these people.