Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Vacation with the Curse of the Summer Reading

My goal last May was to find a house to rent in Maine for the last week of the summer. Thankfully I found one and am sitting on it's deck looking at the tide rolling into the harbor, feeling the sun on my legs.....

and listening to my daughters bitch about their summer reading.

That's right people. They are STILL doing their summer reading. The one that was assigned to them in June. School starts in 6 days. One in trying to suffer through Island of the Blue Dolphins, while the other is listening to Anne of Green Gables.

Summer reading sucks. Yes, I was a teacher. Yes, I am on the school committee, but my answer is still that assigned summer reading sucks.

Oh, I believe your kids should read during the summer. Reading all the time is fantastic! I love to read. I would hope that they will be life long learners and reading is an important component of learning.

What I do not believe in is forcing kids to read from a set list of books and making them write a paper on it during the summer.

7th grade was a little more open with picking a book and picking another book that was a medal winner. She is WHINING through the medal winner.

For 9th grade they were given the choice of 7 or so books that all had to do with triumph over tragedy. This includes rape, incest, murder, poverty etc. Why do I want my 14 year old reading Angela's Ashes? Especially during the summer when everything is fun and carefree? Yes, it is a life lesson, but seriously, she'll read it when she is interested.

And the kicker is that they have to write about these books and turn it in for their first grade of the semester, so if they don't do it, they are already digging out of the F hole.

Sorry if you live in New England, because I have put in an order for rain on Sunday and Monday so that they will be forced inside to finish this "torturous" (their word, not mine) task.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sundays in My City (Irene Edition)


Unknown Mami


Went out for an hour long drive around to survey the storm action with K, B and my mom.

When I drove into my parents driveway, my dad was catching some hurricane rays (yes, the sun was out)...


The Fish Pier at high tide was flooding a bit..


Looks like someone is going to need a new kite..


 The beach that was so calm yesterday was quite choppy today...


One of the stores downtown put out the welcome mat..


20 minutes into our ride it started pouring so badly that I had to take this picture through the window..


Then the sun came out again..
Perfect time to swing, right?


The girls attempted to see how strong the wind really was..



This is usually a dock I take wedding pictures on. I have never seen it under water before..


Found one tree down, convienently short enough not to hit the house..


A little road flooding..

 
And some pretty clouds in the sky..


Thankfully we missed the brunt of this storm, but I already heard that another one was brewing in the atlantic....
Hope you are safe!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Pre-Irene

T'was the day before Irene,
And all through the town,
Businesses were boarded up,
Beaches closed down.






Some stores made webs,
Of pretty blue tape,


While others used both,
Not leaving a gape.



The storm flags were flying,
While the people flocked,


To the shore to see some seals,
Boy did they squalk!

The ocean lay still,
Some people they sat,
Pretending Irene was far away,
And the water would stay flat.

The fishing gear was pulled out,
The boats secured and tied,


The family boats right out front,
Hoping to ride the tide.



There is humor to be found,
When shooting pre-storm pics,

Hopefully the wind,
Will only drop a few sticks.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Frag'n Friday

Mommy's Idea


It's been awhile since I fragged, so perhaps that means I have lots of little bits in my head...

Number one: I cannot get this song out of my head. And of course I picture my longest friend's husband dancing to it with a cigar in his hand.



Why this song? Well there is a rather large hurricane named
Irene(rhymes with Eileen) coming up the east coast right now (in case you hadn't heard about it).

The east also had an earthquake this week. I did not feel it, but I guess some Cape Codders did. I laughed at the pictures of people's lawn furniture being turned over, or the crooked picture on the wall. However, it is sort of creepy to have an earthquake and a hurricane within a week of each other on the East coast. What exactly does this mean?

Come Hell or High Water I am going to Maine for my vacation week. This is the first time I have used this phrase that it could be taken literally. Stupid Irene better not get in my way. Shit, there goes the chorus of that song again through my head. (That is the Hell part, people).

We start school after Labor Day and there is required summer reading. Every summer it is a battle because it often involves lots of writing. We just ran and got ice-cream where there was a sign that said, "Hey, your teacher called. Better do your reading." Maybe my kids aren't the only ones?

Little Dude's sister turned 1 this week! She is so cute!


Patty from A Day in My NYC has won the little Monsta IPhone that I was giving away!!! Yay Patty! Next week a little something from Hallmark.

Have a great weekend and don't forget to prepare for the storm if you need to. And I am sorry if you now have that song in your head, but at least you feel my pain.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Have I Done Enough?

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night worrying that you haven't given your children the strongest moral base that you can?

A loaded question for so early in the morning, but that is what has been haunting me lately.

I know it is because K is entering HS in a few weeks and I am freaking out about it.

Have I taught her right from wrong? Will she be able to say "no" when she needs to? Will she trust me enough to call me when she needs help? Will she admit she needs help? Will she make new friends? Will they be "good" friends?

K and I have a tight bond, but she is also very different from me. I was a preppy, athletic goody two shoes growing up. She wants to be like Lady Gaga. She is a fantastic kid, don't get me wrong. However, if I say black, she will say white. I love going to the beach, she does not. I am optimistic to a fault, she is not. She has been pushing back on me for awhile now and I understand that even though it feels like she was just learning to walk a few months ago, she is a teenager that needs to try some things on her own.

It's just hard.

I am scared for her. I don't want her to be hurt. I don't want her heart crushed by a boy. I don't want her to have to be in that awkward situation where you know what you should do, but your friends are doing the opposite. I want her to like herself when she looks in the mirror. I don't want her to feel like she has to be perfect.

But that's all part of growing up, right? I cannot hold her hand forever, I am just scared that I haven't prepared her enough.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

It's a SALE! No, it's THE SALE!

Every 2 years, 3 stores in Chatham collect all their clearance merchandise and offer it up to the masses at unbelievable prices. I am talking $300 dresses for $50. $100 shirts for $30. $25 watches for $2!!!

Crazy, no?

I wrote about my first experience at it 2 years ago here. Go read it, it will explain a lot more of the background. Anyhoo, this year, I will admit, I was trying to ignore this wonderful sale because we are saving our spending money for a trip to Maine next week. That lasted all of 5 minutes on the first day when I posted on FB that my wonderful salonist Kelly, went to the sale with her super getinwheneveryouwantto ticket while my hair was cooking and bought me a $2 watch and $2 earrings. She's the best.

Of course my girls read my update and had to go ASAP. So, looking fine after my hair do, I went to get in line while my mom brought B to work and K to me. We giddily waited in line. Oh, yeah there's a line (go read the post from 2 years ago!). I was fooling around on my phone checking FB and twitter and saw that if I tweeted about the sale I might win one of those getinwheneveryouwantto tickets. A golden ticket? Hell ya I tweeted!

With all accessories at $2 and me not exactly fitting into many of these designer teeny people clothes, I parked myself at the $2 table. I bought a sparkly barrette with an $80 price tag on it for TWO DOLLARS people!

K being one of those teeny people scored with a bunch of cute clothes and headbands. She immediately called her friend and arranged to go again yesterday with B too.

We arrived at 8:45 for the 10 am opening:


Already a line. I went to Dunkin Donuts and brought them breakfast while they waited. I think a lot of people would have liked me to bring them DD because I got some looks of "Ugh, I wish she brought me DD."


Then I went and ran some errands, etc... At 10:06 I got the magical tweet that said I won a GOLDEN TICKET!!!! I immediately went to Violets and picked it up hoping to impress the girls when I waltzed in to the store without waiting in line! However, when I got there, they were still in line! So I scooped them up and we cut the line and walked (sorry, skipped with glee) in to the store!


It is craziness at it's best. Yesterday, there were actually 2 men in the fray. God Bless them. It is not a sale or place for men. But the girls said one of the men was a dad and was trying to help his daughter find some good deals and cute clothes. Granted this daughter did not agree with anything the dad said, but props to the dad for even entering this estrogen enhanced craziness.

Are there plans to go back again today for day 3?

Oh yeah, but we won't be waiting in line!

If you are in Chatham and want to experience all that is this fantastic sale (and yes, they restock every day), it is open from 10-3 kind of behind CVS. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Oooooh, Those Summer Nights

The absolute best thing about living on Cape Cod is being able to head down to the beach for cocktail hour. The light is beautiful, the beach is almost empty (except for that May/December couple completely making out in front of us) and the water looks magical.

So in light of my favorite part of a summer's day, I bring you a cocktail....


Some music...


My niece who can just peek over the picinic table at almost 1 year old...


My niece again because she is so beautiful...


A seal floating aimlessly along without knowledge that there are great whites out there waiting to strike at any moment...


The first attempt at my sister's Christmas card photo (there will obviously be quite a few after this....)....


B and I posing for a photo...


B making fun of me attempting to do a handstand in someone's left over sand hole....


And a happy baby and her daddy.


What's your favorite time of the day?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Case-Mate's Newest Designs!

Case-Mate has done it again with their ingenuity and creativity! This time, they have created fun iPhone-4 covers! Plain, black cases over your phone is so last year. Express yourself with one of Case-Mates 6 new designs! Check them out here. You could have one of the cute animal type covers like Nemo or a penguin. OR you could go "monsta" and get Frankenstein or a Mummy. Why let little kids have all the fun?

Today, I have the priveledge of giving away "Monsta".


So cute/scary, right? Why not add a little flavor or conversation piece to your phone?! It's silicone too, so if you leave your phone on the roof of your car (not that I have any experience with this, lol) it won't slide off!

To win the Monsta case:

*Check out Case-Mates and let me know which case tickles your fancy.

*Feel free to tweet it out or broadcast this on a billboard in your town. Just leave me a separate comment for each wonderful thing you do. I will use the random number generator on August 23rd at 12pm to find a winner!

This review is my opinion only and I only received one cover to give away. If I had an iPhone, the winner might have had to tear this out of my hands :)


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sundays in My City



Unknown Mami


My trip to Blogher in San Diego also included a side trip to LA with K. It has been her dream to go to LA and see Hollywood (because that is where she is going to be famous and live some day). Our family friend, Aunt Betty,  graciously kept K while I was in San Diego and took her to all the hot spots. I even got to spend a little time there on either end of the convention. K really tried to take Aunt Betty's dog, Lulu, home with her.






K is all prepared for winning an Oscar, Grammy, Emmy or Barbie statuette.


I have no doubt that some day she will!

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Brief, Poetic Re-cap (BlogHer 11)



Flying home from the west coast,
Thinking of how I would like tea and toast,
I think of my trip and smile a bit,
From thinking of 2 or 3 a giggling fit.


BlogHer 11 was in San Diego,
Where I reconnected with one or 50 amigo.
A bunch of girls together leads to laughter,
Not much sleep and red eyes after.


Rikki Lake spoke on 'being born",
Some how I thought she said, "baby porn".
A certain group was into some toys,
These were the ones not for little girls or boys.

I ran into The Pringles Man, and a tidy bowl brush,
A giant toilet and the man who plays Dust,
Elmo and Cookie, the Brawny man,
Even Oscar was peeking from his trash can.

I went to a breakfast with Sallie Mae 
Learned that I needed to start saving yesterday.
Danced with unicorns, wanted the cake,
Wore a hand crafted bag chapeau, it was great!

Learned a bunch of stuff,
Got a bunch of swag, no fluff.
In a battery charger, I left my phone,
Without it, I felt so alone. 

Sat by the pool with a glass of wine,
The weather there was certainly divine.
There were boats and yachts galore, 
To be on the sea is never a bore.

Next year BlogHer is back in New York City,
Some thought this idea was shitty,
One blogger tried to throw a fit,
A friendly New Yorker told her to "suck it".

We were suppose to be home last night,
But there were epic stories with our flight.
That meant an overnight stay in Chi-town,
With out a brush or a night gown.

I got to stay with my roomie for a night once more,
We giggled and ate pizza and cookie dough galore.
The flight the next morning was right on time,
K and I slept in our clothes and had a layer of grime.

We were met at the airport by a big toothy grin,
B practically busted thru security, she wanted in.
It is good to be back and get back to the norm,
Next post about BlogHer specifics for me to inform.