Sunday, May 30, 2010

Happy Day, Happy Place, Happy Mommy

I did something smart. I hooked up with friends who have go-getter, pleaser husbands. The kind of husbands that say, “Well, what do you want? Really? That will be good? Sure, okay!” Those kind of husbands. Now, I have a pleaser husband too. He is just a bit cheaper than the other “Sure, okay!” husbands. Cheaper… wait I need find a better, nicer word---FRUGAL! Frugal is better! Yes, he’s frugal. He’s the coupon carrying, discount shopping, never going to pay regular price for anything husband. So I got smart. I got him to befriend the “Sure, okay’s!” in hopes he might convert to the dark side. The “pay full price” dark side.

Now, I am not going to say there was a game plan. I am simply going to say there was a well, thought out, orchestrated idea that was proposed to one of the “Sure, okay’s”. He was selected to contact Mr. Frugal with the "idea."  We figured this "Sure okay" was the best one to close the deal because he is the biggest go-getter of them all.  His only problem...get Mr. Frugal to commit to full price.

Now, I have been with Mr. Frugal for a while now, I know how his mind works. It’s like a giant checkbook register….constantly calculating withdraws and deposits. This was a BIG withdraw to him and that meant I had to have a plan. I didn’t quite know what the plan was, but I knew it had to be creative and something that would get his attention. I racked my brain for a couple of days, thinking and thinking, and all I could come up with were lame, low deposit ideas. Nothing suitable for the big withdraw I was asking for. That’s when the Spa God’s answered my prayers.

I walked into the staff room at work one day and there they were…WINE AND ROSES SPA COUPONS!!!!

YOU ARE WELCOME!!!!! CONTACT THE “Sure, okay’s”….WE ARE IN!!!!

Because the truth is, Mr. Frugal can’t pass up a deal. He can’t. It’s almost physically impossible for him to throw coupons away without trying to use them and get a deal. Coupons are like crack to him. He can’t quit them…when they sit there and expire without use, it’s like his body goes through detox and he needs his fix. And I was sitting there with his next score in my hand.

Back to the point of the post….that little mention at the end of the Mother’s Day post about my spa day on the 30th…that was the understatement of the year. I really can’t remember a time when I was looking forward to something so much like I was today. It was the perfect time to do it. There was no stress from school, no stress about who was going to watch the boys…it was just up to me to relax and enjoy. And that is what I did.

We started the day changing into our spa attire, a robe and flip-flops. There is something about the way a spa smells. The warm mist from the sauna combined with the smell of all of the available products ready for my abuse of use is intoxicating to me. I love it with every fiber of my being.

My facial was fabulous. It included a foot massage, which is happy place material for me because I have never had a facial include a foot massage. After, we met back in the tranquility room for tea and granola. Our plan was simple…not to leave until they kicked us out. Once all of our treatments were done we headed out to the courtyard. There were two spas and a huge waterfall that emptied into both. It was the perfect setting for us to do nothing and it was beyond relaxing.

When we finally did leave, we promised ourselves that we would be back. The facials were great, but the setting, attire, and company were the highlights of the day. As we sat there we decided this needed to be an annual thing. The perfect way to end a school year…that happens to be right around Mother’s Day. How perfect is that?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Mystery Man

We call him Ryan, Ry-Ry, Baby, Dude, and sometimes we even refer to him as Satan.  But rarely do we call him The Silent One.  He has the ability to yell at the top of his lungs at Matthew during the middle of one of their games.  He screams from the bedroom when he wants us to change the channel to something else.  He giggles the loudest and longest when playing on the floor with Rich.  By no means is he EVER SILENT!

No, he's not silent until he walks through the gate for t-ball.  In the car you can hear him yell, "I see my team!", "I see my coach!", "Mom, is this where I am playing today?" He loves it, he gets excited for it, he asks about it every day leading up to Saturday.  But, the minute we get out of the car something happens.  This crazy, silly, giggly little boy turns into a completely different child during the games and doesn't speak the entire time.  He just watches.  He doesn't engage.  He is silent.   

This boy....

This is the look on his face THE ENTIRE GAME!  He is soooooo serious and sooooo quiet.

This looks more like the Ryan we know. :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day 2010

Happy Mother's Day to all!  I had a very nice Mother's Day.  It started with me sleeping in and then Rich taking the boys to get me a coffee so I could watch Betty White on SNL without any interruptions.  Then I set out for a pedicure...just me and the nice lady lady who rubbed my feet while I read for an hour and a half.  Next we went to lunch with Richard and Sharon.  We celebrated Mother's Day and Richard's birthday.  Rich (the designated driver) was kind enough to sit through a lunch where Sharon and I each had two lemon drops and Richard had two Strawberry Splashes....or something like that.  I went for a walk with freshly downloaded music so I could serenade my neighborhood off-key.  And last night Rich went and got take-out to round off my no cooking day.  It was fabulous.

However nice and relaxing all of the above was....Nothing...NOTHING was better than my gifts.  The first one is from Ryan.  Last week our babysitter Janni helped all the kids make these little flower pots.  When I opened mine from words can describe his reaction.  To say he was proud of his gift would be the understatement of the year.  He had a grin on his face from ear to ear and he giggled..."You like it???"  I told him no.... "I LOVE IT!"

Here is Ryan's pot.  I haven't taken care of something so carefully since the day I brought a new baby home from the hospital.

The next gift I opened was from Matthew.  It was in a decorated Chinese food container and inside was a letter to me from him explaining all the gifts inside.  He too was so proud...mostly on how well he had colored the paper (which he did a fabulous job on).  Here is what the letter said...

Mother's Day Memory Box

I painted a little box.
I put in a teddy bear.  It shows how we love to bear hug.
I put in a piece of gum.
It shows how we always stick together.
I put in some nuts.
They show how silly we like to be.
I put in a bandage.
It shows how you always come to my rescue.
I put in a chocolate kiss.  
It shows how good it feels to be loved.
And Mom, don't forget...I'll love you forever!

Love, Matthew

I absolutely loved it.  I told him we'll keep everything in the box and save it just the way it is.

I got one more gift...from Rich...a spa day on the 30th.  I won't say it is my favorite gift, because the boys gifts were priceless, but it is REALLY REALLY NICE AND I CAN'T WAIT TO GO!!!!!!

Daddy Ditch Day!

Last Friday Rich played ditch from work (well for a little while at least) and joined Matt and his class on a field trip to the Sacramento Zoo.  I would have loved to have joined them, but I didn't want to take another day off.  This way they can be together and Rich can enjoy the simple pleasures of six year olds having selective hearing in wide open spaces.  I'm super glad Rich was able to go, not just because he wanted to, but because I am still not comfortable letting Matt go off without a specific adult monitoring his every move.  I only know a few parents in his class so I would have stuck him with one of them...but he absolutely loved that his dad could go.

Matthew and a new friend.
The boy in action....Who was supervising again????

Matthew and Ms. Kirsten!

Mrs. Schatz and the boys!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Teacher Appreciation Week

So, apparently there is such a thing.  I had no clue.  Matthew's previous teachers obviously can attest to this.  As a teacher, one would think I would have some idea this exists, but sadly I did not.  Now I do.  Why???  Because my darling Jeffrey G. in class brought me a gift every day this entire week to celebrate with me.  And the gifts???  They were put together and designed by his mother.  She is wicked talented and totally creative.

This was Monday.  Who doesn't love homemade cupcakes to start off the week???

On Tuesday Jeffrey brought me this apple made from an old dictionary.

Wednesday was beach theme.  She must know I am counting the days until summer break!!

On Thursday I got this darling homemade pin.  I was at a workshop on Thursday, so I put it on immediately Friday morning.

And Friday Jeffrey brought me this six pack of A&W root beer (that was of course later made into root beer floats).

Jenny, I can't thank you enough for all of my gifts.  Just not this past week, but all of the wonderful goodies you have sent throughout the year!  I love them.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Tahoe Weekend

This weekend we headed up to Tahoe to Claire's cabin again...we'll abuse this privilege as long as she lets us, and this time we brought the hubbies and the kiddies.  What were we thinking????  Oh yes, we were thinking we should play nice and share sometimes.  It was pretty funny (not really) to walk downstairs Saturday morning, approximately fourteen hours after we arrived..eight of those kid sleeping hours, to see the effects of kids in the cabin.  There were games everywhere, toys everywhere, kids everywhere!  I reminisced back to the weekend where it was just us ladies and the cabin was spotless...not counting our books, magazines, and cocktail glasses.  The great thing about all of our kids is that they get along fabulously and play well together.  We all parent in pretty much the same way, so none of our kids ever get away with anything because there is ALWAYS somebody watching...and we all have the same rules.  They're toast!

This is a couple of shots from the car on the way up...

This was the only pile of snow left from this winter and latest storm.  The kids made the most of it and had a blast.  Please note Kirsten's attire...she was freshly off the 60's celebration at school and was making the most of her outfit.

The coolest clubhouse ever!

Leah playing!
Colson in motion.  Even though the picture is blurry, it is too cute not to post.

The kids enjoying the BBQ and eating outside.  The weather was PERFECT!  I promise we fed them more than just chips.

Sunday morning we took them for a trek through the marsh.

Alcatraz 2010

Our class has one field trip a BIG one at least, and it is usually to Alcatraz.  I have said it before and I will say it again, I have a love/hate relationship with field trips.  I hate them at the beginning of the day and love them at the end of the day. 

Speaking of the beginning of the day...this was the time on the clock in my classroom as I made my way out to gather my kids for the bus.  This 5:48 beginning of the day is the part I hate.  The running around putting name tags on everyone, making sure everyone went to the bathroom before getting on the bus, introducing everyone to their chaperon for the day.....UHHHH!!!  It is constant madness until the bus pulls away from the curb and all 28 students and 23 parents are accounted for.

Fast forward two minutes and forty-three seconds after the bus pulls away from the curb.  We are driving down Lodi Ave., on our way to I-5 and so excited, that is when I realize....I FORGOT MY CELL PHONE!!!  Now, you have to understand that I had given each chaperon a detailed itinerary of the day and at the bottom was my cell phone number to contact me in case anything happened.  My partner in crime, Kristin I Don't Go Anywhere Without My IPhone Burrell, was my hero.  Without her I think it is very possible that I would have had a breakdown several times throughout the know the day where 28 parents trusted me not to lose their kids in a huge city like San Francisco.

Next drama...the weather.  The weather for the nine days leading up to the trip was raining and cold.  Raining and cold every time I checked  I warned the kids that they had to layer themselves and they had to wear pants.  Apparently the weather Gods were looking down on us because we had the most beautiful weather possible.  It was unbelievable and I could not have asked for a better day.

On our way out to Alcatraz...

Here is the happy bunch who got to ditch school for the day and play!

And finally...we end the day at Pier 39.  Did I mention that the weather was perfect and it was a gorgeous day outside!  I'll be ready to do this again in another year.