About Me

My photo
I am a stay-at-home mom of two sons, 12 and 10. I used to be an advertising manager. I love my new career and have thrown myself completely into it.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry X-mas Eve and Happy Holidays

Whew! I'm sitting here in my pajamas with a cup of coffee. The boys are taking showers and I'm taking a break from all the pre-holiday activity. I have a few more "Santa" things to do, then things will be complete until we set everything up after the boys go to bed. The problem is that the boys keep going to bed later and later every year. I'm hoping they'll fall asleep before midnight because I start to nod off. Then they're up at the crack of dawn with a ton of energy. Next year, we'll probably just be going through the motions because my oldest, in fifth grade, doesn't believe in Santa anymore and the youngest, in third grade, has his doubts, but he still wants to believe.
Well since part of the reason for this blog is to detail my experiences and adventures of being a room mom in both classes this year, I'll review the class activities that happened before school ended for the holiday break. First, I spoke to other room moms to see if I should collect money from parents to get the teachers holiday gifts. The consensus was to let individual students give their own gifts and not to collect for a class gift because people celebrate different holidays. So I decided that was best and explained that decision to the number of students' moms who asked me about it.
Three of the four 3rd grade classes decided to plan our holiday parties together and the teachers thought a lunch would be nice. After one of the moms researched various options, the teachers decided on McDonald's Happy Meals. I asked the 5th grade teacher if he wanted to have any type of party or cookies and he said they had something else planned. However, two days before the last day of school, he e-mailed me to see if the class could have a pizza lunch. Now I had two lunches overlapping on the same day. I called another 5th grade room mom to see if she could be in the class for the lunch and she coordinated with some other moms to make sure someone would be there since I was already committed to the 3rd grade party. I called and ordered the pizzas and asked them to be delivered to the school at 11:30.
On the day of the parties, I volunteered for a bit in 5th grade then went to the front of the school at 11 to help bring in the Happy Meals for the 3rd graders. When I went outside, I saw a Pizza Hut truck. As the delivery guy walked toward the school I asked him if these were pizzas for the 5th grade and yes, they were. They delivered them half an hour early. The teacher wasn't ready for them and didn't have any mom to help him out. I let the teacher know what was happening, then brought the pizzas to his class. At least I was able to get the delivery guy to keep the pizzas in the warmers and come back to get them. The teacher was a trooper and ended up serving all 30 kids himself, with no help. I felt so bad but I had to help the 3rd grade teacher with all the Happy Meals that came. After lunch, we passed out cookies to the students.
Bottom line is that both parties were a success and all the children and both teachers were happy. This was my 1st experience of having overlapping parties and unfortunately by the time a mom came to help the 5th grade teacher, the pizza had already been served since it came so early. I apologized to the teacher but he was a real trooper and handled it perfectly. So I experienced what I feared could eventually happen and it wasn't so bad.
So now back to the final pre-holiday activities. Have a wonderful holiday season, whatever you celebrate!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Three Parties, A Play and A Birthday

Whew - I haven't blogged in a while because it got pretty hectic there. I was planning and coordinating two Thanksgiving parties for my sons' classes, getting two costumes ready for my youngest son's class play and sending out letters, collecting money and buying a gift for my oldest son's teacher and planning a birthday celebration for him. And right after all of this was Thanksgiving. In between all this my oldest son did have H1N1 and missed 6 days of school. For a week my husband and me kept feeling like we were coming down with something. We got lucky though - it never took hold. Our youngest son felt fine during all of this, thankfully. However, about a week and a half later, he got some rash one Sunday evening. So he took the next day off school while I took him to the doctor. Turned out to be nothing big and it went away right away. Then a week later, I had to take my oldest son back to the doctor because he was up most of the night before coughing.
So we kept having illnesses and doctor's appointments happening during a time when I was really busy and needed all my days for planning and getting everything ready. Then the night before Thanksgiving, my youngest son got an 102 degree temperature. He had a fever all day on Thanksgiving and was lying on the sofa for much of the day, which is not like him at all. We had planned to go to our niece's house for Thanksgiving dinner but realized our youngest needed to stay home. So my husband stayed home with him while I went to the dinner with our other son. We cut our visit a bit short so I could bring some turkey and fixings to my husband. Our youngest doesn't like turkey so he ended up getting a cheeseburger, fries and milkshake instead - he was very happy. Thank you, Mc Donald's, for being open. Most other places weren't - we know - my husband was driving around trying to find something.
So now the Thanksgiving weekend is over and it's back to the drawing board. I really enjoyed having a long weekend that wasn't full of plans so we could all relax a little. We needed it and we earned it. We did some fun things like going for a family bike ride, practicing football (the boys start playing for a league in a couple of weeks), watching the boys ice skate at an outdoor rink and going to dinner afterwards, and putting up Christmas decorations. Although it's busy, I do love this time of year and I'm really trying to experience it one day at a time this year. Now I'll take a breath and start thinking about planning the holiday parties for each son's class.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

I am trying to lose weight (blah, blah, blah). I'm trying to do it to look better, to get healthier, to fit better in clothes, to fit into smaller clothes, to enjoy going clothes shopping again, to feel like I garner more respect, to make my husband proud of me, to make my children proud of me, to look and feel sexier and younger, etc., etc., etc.

So two days ago I did a good job. I exercised and I ate heathfully and watched my portions. I felt good going to bed and even better when I woke up. But yesterday was a tough day. Both boys were home sick from school and instead of resting, they decided to pretty much spend the day fighting - yelling, hitting kind of fighting. So I was moderating arguments and fights all day and feeling stressed out and kind of defeated. So yes, I ended up eating too much, especially by the end of the evening. I made a good dinner that I hadn't made before - orrechiette, broccolini (or asparation) and proscuitto. We had wine with dinner and it was all delicious. I had seconds and later in the evening polished off the left-over proscuitto.

So this morning I woke up feeling bloated and lethargic. My oldest son is still home sick and I didn't end up exercising today. I'll try my best for the rest of the day and evening and get back on the saddle tomorrow. (Is that the right metaphor - I tend to get my metaphors mixed up)

4 Days Missed From School

It's Thursday and my oldest son is still at home sick. I've picked up some of his schoolwork but I am a bit worried about him missing 4 days of school. He's in 5th grade now and you feel that they go over important information every day. It was different when he was younger. I felt it was much easier to make the work up and it seemed that they would be able to review school material easier. Now I worry about what he's missing and if the material will be reviewed. It's also hard to push him to do homework right now while he's not feeling good. I want him to be able to rest, but I don't want him to fall too far behind.

Do you worry when your kids have missed a few days at school? Do you pick up their schoolwork and homework and try to have them work on it while their sick? What grades are your kids in and does this have an impact on your decisions?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Is It H1N1?

This morning the family got up as normal on a Monday morning. My husband got ready and left for work and I made the boys breakfast and made sure they got ready for school. About 15 minutes before we were going to leave, my oldest son informed me that he didn't feel well. I asked what was wrong and he said his stomach hurt, as he layed on the sofa. I tried to figure out if he was just trying to get out of school, but he did seem like he didn't feel well. I took his temperature - normal.

Since this is the beginning of November, I can't help but wonder - is this the beginning of an H1N1 infection? Or is it just a cold or the seasonal flu. One of the teachers at school has said that a few of the kids have had H1N1, but I haven't heard other teachers or parents talking about it. Also, I haven't noticed a lot of absences. In fact, for our Fall party last Friday, every student in my younger son's 3rd grade class was there.

Now his stomach doesn't hurt anymore but his throat does and he has a headache. I'm wondering if I should take him to the doctor just to be safe but he doesn't seem too sick. I'm also reluctant to go to the doctor's office right now where we could get exposed to even worse germs. For now I'll just keep a close eye on him and see if he gets worse.

This year is different from other years because we've all heard about the dangers of H1N1 and that it seems to hit children especially hard, even children who seemed to be previously healthy. We'll see how this progresses and I'll keep taking his temperature. Has H1N1 hit any of your communities or are kids just getting sick with regular-variety colds and seasonal flu? How worried are you this year?

Twitter Moms: The Influential Moms Network

Friday, October 30, 2009

Those Damn Plastic Gloves

It's taken a week to get back on this blog because I've been so busy with all these activities this week.  There has been SO much talking to other room moms on the phone and trying to collaborate everything.  Between the two grades, I've been talking to about 10 moms and a number of them every day, even a couple of times a day.  One of the sticking points for both grades is that we are having the kids make popcorn gloves for their Fall parties this afternoon.  You have them put candy corn down into the fingers, then they fill the gloves with popcorn.  The result should look like a hand, complete with fingernails.  However, when I tested it with the gloves we had, the fingers were so wide that the candy corn always fell sideways.  I couldn't force the candy corn to stay upright even if I tried shoving popcorn around it.  So I was trying to find other gloves and other moms were trying to figure it out too.  After a whole week of searching, we ended up with the same gloves.  So we all decided it really doesn't matter if the candy corn falls sideways.  The kids don't care.  They'll just have fun making them and then eating them.  So those damn plastic gloves took a lot of unnecessary time and grief this week.  I was just afraid that all the other classes had the right gloves and that our class's would look lame compared to the others and the kids would be bummed.

Well, this busy week is almost over.  The fifth grade and third grade have both had their field trips.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend either of them.  I had a dentist's appointment during the fifth grade field trip and a meeting regarding refinancing our house during the third grade field trip.  The fifth graders also had their DARE graduation yesterday (DARE is explained in the previous blog).  I was able to help set that up and attend.  Also my husband was able to attend because he worked from home yesterday.  That was a lot of fun and it went smoothly and the kids really enjoyed it - the parents did, too.  Then last night we had a couple of the boys' aunts over because we were getting pizza delivered from our local police department.  Our school distrist has a pizza night at the end of DARE and red-ribbon week, where a police car or fire engine will deliver pizza to you with their sirens blaring.  We've never done it before but decided to this year and it was a blast!  The boys loved it!  The sirens and lights were going and making a lot of commotion.  Then the officers let the boys get into the car and look all around.  Some people in the neighborhood came out to see what was going on.  They were probably thinking "well, they seemed like a nice family - why are their kids in the police car?"  I joked with the boys that this would be their first and ONLY time they would be sitting in the back of a police car.

Now today both the 5th grades and 3rd grades are having their Fall parties so I need to run out to get a couple of last-minute things after I write this blog.  I'm a little nervous about the parties because we are doing 3 different activities for the 3rd graders and there are just so many 5th graders (approximately 100).  So it might be a bit difficult to keep everything organized and get the kids the different supplies they need before they start getting impatient.  There should be a lot of help for both parties, though.

One thing I've really enjoyed about this process is getting to know the other room moms better.  I've known many of them before, but some of them I didn't know real well.  Now working with them on these projects, I'm getting to know them much better - so that's really fun.

I'm sure I'll be tired this evening so tonight I'll try to relax a bit to get ready for Halloween tomorrow.  I'm so glad it's on a Saturday.  I'll be making a special breakfast of smiling mouths on top of pink, oozing goop (cut red apples in the shape of lips with yogurt-covered raisins as the teeth on top of strawberry yogurt) and bloody hands (toast cut into the shape of hands with red jam smeared on different areas).  Then I'll be making blood, brains and guts for dinner (meat sauce with spiral noodles).  I have no idea what lunch will be.

Well, have a fun, safe and goulish day and evening tomorrow.  Remember to set your clocks back - yay!  We get an extra hour to sleep in - good timing!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Now the Room Mom Activities Really Start

Now I really start the experience of being room mom in both my sons' classes for the first time.  We have a number of parties and activities happening next week.  The fifth graders have a field trip on Monday, a DARE graduation on Thursday and something happening on Friday for Halloween (although we can't mention Halloween, so we call it a Fall party or celebration).  All the fifth grade classes are supposed to plan these activities together so another room mom wants me to call her this weekend and somehow I guess we'll all get this figured out in the next few days.  If you don't know what DARE is, it is a program where a police officer comes to the fifth grade classes twice a week to teach them about the dangers of drugs and alcohol and to also talk to them about bullying, internet safety and violence.  Next week the whole school will also be participating in DARE week, where all the teachers will touch on these subjects during classtime and they have assemblies for the children.

For the third graders, they have a field trip on Thursday and a Fall party on Friday.  In previous years the classes have just planned their own parties but this year the teachers thought it would be a good idea for the room moms in all four classes to try to plan the parties together.  So we got together this morning to share ideas.  We won't be doing exactly the same thing in each class and each class will hold their party whenever it works best with their schedule, but the treats and activities will be similar.  So now I'll just coordinate with the other room moms in my son's class regarding buying supplies and figuring out who can volunteer at the party.

So next week will be a very busy week and we'll see how it goes.  It looks like it will be a lot of fun, though, and right now nothing is exactly overlapping - I hope it stays that way so I can attend each class's party.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Welcome to my new blog.  Let me first explain why I decided to start blogging.

First, I was recently reading through books for each of my sons that I wrote detailing when I was pregnant with them and different milestones from their early years.  They are kind of diaries.  I was amazed at what I had forgotten.  I realized how important it was that I had written all this information down.  I started to think that I should do this now, too, or I might forget some of what is currently happening.  I don't have the time or inclination to actually write in a diary now, but I am on the computer a lot and blogging can be a way to document important or interesting events.

Second, I decided to be a room mom in both my sons' classes this year.  I have always volunteered in their classes each week and come to most of their room parties and field trips, so I've always done a lot of what a room mom does (I think) except plan the parties and manage the money.  Also, my oldest son is in 5th grade and I've been told by other moms that you don't volunteer in their classes once they start 6th grade.  So I figured I only have one more year to do this for my oldest son and if I do it for him, I should also do it for my younger son.  Therefore, I decided to just take the plunge and try it this year.  I will be chronicling my adventures in this blog.

Finally, I'm looking forward to the community aspect of blogging.  I will be very interested to see what comments I get.  I'm looking forward to other parents' thoughts, ideas and advice.

So I'm going to have fun with this!  I hope you find this entertaining and fun, too.