Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Vision Test Needed

Today was the deadline for submitting Carter’s registration for Kindergarten.  Of course, I turned it in on the last day possible.  And you do know why? Because it was like 40 pages long.  Besides, I was busy filling out the paperwork for summer camp, before school care, and after school care first…all of which were due a couple of weeks ago.

It’s outrageous how much paperwork I have submitted to the Northville Public Schools in the last 3 weeks.  I have gotten hand cramps from writing so much.  Clearly the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) has not trickled down to the State level, least of all the public schools in Wayne county. 

I had to fill out emergency contact cards in duplicate for summer camp, kindergarten, before school care, and after school care.  That was 8 copies of the same dang form.  All of which will be held in the same central repository at the elementary school.  And, NO!, I couldn’t just photocopy them.  They need originals because my signature is on them.

And I was not exaggerating (at least not a lot) when I said the registration was 40 pages long.  I had to fill out Carter’s personal identification information. I had to provide a copy and show his original birth certificate and I had to provide a copy of my driver’s license.  I had to make a list of his strengths and weakness and sign a note stating that he has no know hearing problems.  I had to make a list of things he liked and disliked in preschool.  There were questions about buses and AM or PM kindergarten preferences.  There were forms for sunscreen and permission to use his photo in publications.

And then I had to prove residency in the township.  In order to prove said residency, I had to provide a copy of my mortgage statement, a copy of a utilities bill, and a copy of my bank statement.  Good grief!!  I think I provided less information when we applied for our mortgage.  Clearly there is no sneaking in to this school district. 

I am quite certain that I have seen college applications that were easier than the registration for public school kindergarten.  I kept waiting for the essay portion of the application.  I can see it now…Kindergarten candidate, have you experienced a moment of epiphany, as if your eyes were opened to something you were previously blind to? Describe this moment and your percepts about it.  Or perhaps he would opt for: Does any specific attribute, quality or skill distinguish you from everyone else? How did you develop this attribute?

[an aside…I have no idea what the word “percepts” means in the above paragraph.  Had I actually been writing a college application essay, I would have skipped right over that question and picked another one instead of taking the time to look up the word.  I’m lazy like that.]

As you can imagine, I had all the paperwork neatly filled out and in a folder.  I had all the supporting documentation paper clipped to the registration form in the order it was requested.  I also had the original cover letter with the paragraph requesting the documentation highlighted.  This is my anal retentive way.  If you know me, you should not be surprised.

In the school office submitting the paperwork:

Carla: I’m here to register my son for kindergarten

Admin: Great. Let me take a look at your paperwork.

(While she peruses my nice stack of papers, I watch the principal shredding reams of paper. I have visions of an elementary school version of Enron happening right here in Northville)

Admin:  Looks great, but you are missing the documentation for the vision screening.

Carla:  What?  That wasn’t requested in the letter. (as I point to the paragraph that I highlighted)

Admin:  (pointing to the area just below what I’ve highlighted) It says it right here in the second paragraph.

Carla:  Oh.

Who needs a vision test now?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Every 3 Minutes

In less time than it will take me to write this post, another woman in the US will be diagnosed with breast cancer.  

In the United States, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every 3 minutes. One dies every 13 minutes.

These are horrible, sobering facts.  The point of me sharing these facts with you is not to bring you down or depress you.  The point is to help you understand why I have paid $90 for the right to walk 60 miles over 3 days (see post here for more info on the 3 Day Walk).  The point is to help you understand why I didn’t think twice before committing to raise $2,300 for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

My training for the 3 Day walk officially started today.  I attended a “Get Started” meeting with my friend, Lara, who is walking as well.  Given that she is SOOO much taller than me, I don’t think we’ll actually be walking together every step of the way.  Her stride has to be at least 50% longer than mine.  Lara would have to slow down to a stroll just for me to be able to match her pace.   However, she will be my tent mate for the two nights that we have to camp.  Lara and I also hope to do some of the longer training walks together to help motivate each other.

Thanks to many generous donations, I have already raised $820.  Thank you so much!  If you haven’t already donated and would like to, please click here.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Name That Tree

UPDATE:  Thank you Mom & Rebecca.  Apparently my tree is a Pink Dogwood.

Does anyone know what kind of tree this is? It has the most beautiful flowers.  We actually have two of these in our front yard but I have no idea what they are.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Soccer – Week 2

Today was Carter’s second soccer game.  The weather was marginally improved over last Saturday.  The temp was in the 50s but it poured rain the entire hour.  Carter was a trouper tough and didn’t cry or complain about the weather.  I can’t say the same about myself.

I brought my camera but didn’t even take it out of the bag because it was raining too hard.

The no crying was big progress over last week.  Because of this alone, I declare the event a success.

Though we were still unable to get Carter to wear his jersey or to practice with the team or play in the game, he did practice with me and Ben. He even practiced a bit with his friend Bennett.  AND, he laughed and smiled while doing it.

I am happy with the progress but we still have a long way to go.

PS – I noticed this week other kids having bouts of crying and general unhappiness.  I guess this happened last week, too.  I was just too preoccupied with our own little problems that I didn’t notice.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

First Soccer Game, or Maybe Not

Carter was supposed to have his first soccer game yesterday.  He was excited about it when he woke up and we talked about it when we went for bagels for breakfast.  BUT…when we got to the soccer fields, the wind had picked up and there were actually a few snowflakes in the air.  It was cold –- really cold.

Carter whined the entire walk from the car to the soccer field.  He wouldn’t even put on his new soccer jersey (which by the way is very cool).  The six or so other kids on his team were great and very excited to learn and play.  Carter clung to my leg and cried.

We tried to entice him by offering to practice with him.  We tried bribing.  First with an offer of the pancake restaurant (Leo’s Coney Island) for lunch, we tried bribing with promises of a new Transformer (his favorite toy for the month) from Target.  No luck.  We tried threatening to take away TV for the day. No dice.

Nothing worked.  Carter would not peel himself from my leg.  He wouldn’t stop crying.  Sure Carter can be shy in new situations but this was ridiculous.  Other parents are running the sidelines, cheering on their kids.  They are videotaping their 4 year olds learning how to pass and shoot on goal.  All their videos have a soundtrack of Carter crying.

It was humiliating.  He just keep saying he was tired and didn’t want to play.  And the crying, oh the crying.  It just didn’t ever stop.  I wanted to dig a hole right there on the sidelines and crawl into it.

After 30+ minutes, we finally caved in and went home.  We sent Carter to his room and he was probably asleep within 10 minutes. 

Ben and I felt defeated and we were so confused.   Where was the Carter of Friday evening?  The Carter that loved soccer and was so excited to play?  No where to be found on Saturday morning.

Fast forward 24 hours and Carter has a fever and is complaining of ear and throat pain.  We had our physician family friend meet us at Einstein’s Bagels and she confirmed our suspicions:  Carter has an ear infection.

No wonder he didn’t feel like playing soccer in 30 some degree weather.  No wonder we couldn’t bribe him with pancakes, TV, or toys.

You can be sure that I feel like a horrible mother having him out on the field trying to make him play.

Better luck next weekend after a course of antibiotics.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Ready For His First Soccer Game

Carter starts soccer tomorrow.   Every Saturday morning for the next 8 weeks they meet for 1 hour, during which they will practice for 30 minutes and then have a 30 minute 3 on 3 game. 

Since Carter has never really played soccer before, we wanted to do a trial run with all his soccer gear tonight.  We got him all dressed up in his cleats, shin guards, special socks, etc.


Carter was thrilled.  He thought the shin guards were so cool.  I had been nervous that he wouldn’t like the shin guards or like the cleats.  He was happy as could be.  He immediately wanted to go outside and practice.


Carter is actually pretty good at dribbling, when he’s not laughing or giggling to hard too pay attention.  He still doesn’t really understand why he can’t use his hands and keeps forgetting this rule.


Here he is yelling, “GGGOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLL!”  I think that’s the couple of years in Germany coming out.  [Please ignore the fact that he’s pulling his shorts out and it looks like a skirt.]


Am I officially a soccer mom, now?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Spring Has Sprung

In case my sinus problems aren’t signal enough, this view from our back deck confirms it:  spring has sprung.


From our magnolia tree:


One of our many tulips:


I love this time of year…it’s so beautiful.  If only my nose could appreciate it, too.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Lego Entryway

The first time we went to Legoland in Germany, we bought a bunch of Lego key chains.  I selected the plain bricks as my key chains, but Ben picked out mostly Star Wars key chains (and later, Carter became addicted to them).

The second trip to Legoland we came home with a key chain holder.  Ben finally got a chance to hang it up today and I made a magnetic memo board to hang next to it.

Lego entryway

To make the memo board, I bought a 12” x12” piece of stainless steel from Home Depot.  I spray painted the edges white and used Mod Podge to adhere a piece of cute scrapbook paper to it.  I applied two more coats of Mod Podge and then sprayed the whole thing (front and back) with clear coat.  It was ridiculously easy.   The Lego magnets were another Legoland souvenir.

I think it makes a whimsical, yet useful, addition to our back hallway.   Besides, I can’t think of a family better suited to have Lego home accessories. You should really see the floor of my family room! 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Shelby Update Part 2

For the last week or two, I have been suspicious that Shelby has been spending time in the guest room bathroom sink.  Perhaps it’s the hair that I’ve found in the sink…I don’t know.  My mother and Carter found her sleeping there the other day, but I had yet to see it myself.

Until today. 


Connected to this bathroom is a really nice guest room with a queen sized bed that has a down comforter with a flannel duvet.  Wouldn’t that be more appealing to a cat?  Apparently not Shelby.  I shouldn’t complain as cat hair is easier to clean from a sink than from bed linens.

PS – should you come for a stay at our house, don’t  be surprised if the sink in the guest bathroom drains slowly.

Shelby Update

I have received several requests for a Shelby update.  I wish I could tell you that she is totally integrated into our family and that she seeks us out for attention.  Unfortunately, this is not the case.  Shelby is still extremely skittish and does her best to avoid us.  When I can find her and nab her before she runs off, she likes the attention she gets.  She purrs loudly while I brush and/or pet her.  She will even snuggle into me and stay with me willingly (if only for a few minutes).


This is where I can find Shelby most often.  She’s sleeping behind the pillows on the couch in the living room.  It’s a warm little spot away from the commotion of the rest of the house.  When she’s here, Shelby will actually let me walk up to her and pet her.  When we encounter her elsewhere in the house, she’ll run away before we can even get close to her.

There is plenty of evidence, though, that Shelby is becoming more comfortable in our home and that she’ll eventually come around to us.  She is a voracious eater.  Nearly every morning her food bowl is licked clean.  Her first couple of weeks here, Shelby hardly ate at all so I take the empty food dish as proof that she is becoming more relaxed. 

More importantly, though, is the evidence of play.  The past couple of mornings, I have found her cat toys in various rooms of the house, though she appear to favor the guest powder room.  This morning I found a toy in the bathroom that had been at the bottom of her toy basket.  I would have loved to see her rummaging through the basket trying to pick out a toy.

I have to remember that my cat expectations are skewed.  My last cat, Corky (who died 1 year ago today), was quite possibly the most friendly cat ever and very laid back.  According to my father, “Stick your finger in his eye, he doesn’t mind.”

So perhaps Shelby is just being a “regular” cat and expecting her to greet us at the door after work is unreasonable.

Nah, I’m still holding out hope.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Trying to Save the Ta-Tas

Those of you who are my long time readers know that I am passionate about Breast Cancer research (as exhibited here, here, and here).  And those of you who actually read my blog by coming to the website and not through Google Reader, may have noticed something new on the sidebar.


I did the craziest thing today.  I signed my self up for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure here in Michigan, August 13-15.   I'll walk 60 miles over the course of three days with thousands of other women and men.  Net proceeds from this event are invested in community-based breast health programs and breast cancer research.  The research funded focuses on decreasing breast cancer incidence and mortality in the next decade.  I've agreed to raise at least $2,300 in donations.  So over on the sidebar is a link to follow if you are interested in donating to this wonderful cause. 

I recognize that the event is still 4 months away and so you might thinking it’s awfully early for me to be asking for donations.  This might be true but think about all the training I will need to do.  I’m certainly not in great shape and so I need to get my rear in gear ASAP.  When I mentioned training, Ben kinda laughed and wondered aloud, “who trains for a walk?”  Well, when it’s 20 miles a day for 3 days in a row…I’m certainly going to train.  I need to get in better shape and develop some stamina.

I will periodically blog about my training progress and perhaps give you some breast cancer facts over the next couple of months.  Please join me on my journey, at least in spirit.  Your words of encouragement will be an incredible source of motivation to keep me walking.

And don’t forget to “Feel your Boobies!”

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Green Toes

For some strange reason, I felt the need to paint my toe nails a “non-conventional” color.  I chose Lickety-Split Lime.

green toes

It just felt appropriate for Spring.

What do you think?