Tuesday, November 29, 2011

When Can Kids Be Kids? High School Applications and How They Can Impact Your Entire Life

Well, I have to say that I've pretty much had it. If it isn't hard enough to be 13, we've added a whole new dimension to the teenage twilight zone: high school.

My own middle school years flowed seamlessly into high school. I never thought much about it. There was the high school on Baker Road, and that is where you went after 8th grade. My 9th grade teacher did tell my parents to get me out of that place and get me into a private high school, but I was in 9th grade, I had my friends and there was no way that I would switch.

Now my 13 year old daughter is taking SSATs and writing applications and having interviews and visit days. Even I am writing essays about why my kid is so fantastic that they should be dying to have her at their school--despite me forking over the $40, 000.00 check for tuition. No matter how fantastic my own essay is, or my kid is, the old boys network still exists: if you know somebody or ARE somebody, you have a significantly better chance to beat the regular process. It's like the elite line at the airport.

Welcome to the real world kiddo, you might be 13, but this is how the world works. Welcome to decision making and test prepping and acing an interview. We send our kids to a school that treasures childhood, now it's like WTF? Grow up and grow up fast.

Ruth was playing Lego's with her 10 year old sister. I had to break into a litany about homework and getting it done and done right. No Lego, no movie, just study. There words are hard to spit out, because I don't believe much of this pressure cooker practice, but we live in a world that is steaming up.

There are people out there that are playing the game every minute. They are networking like a flu virus and they are teaching their offspring to do the same. If you go to the right high school then you can go to the right college. Heck, I know this starts at preschool for some families.

I think I'll take Ruth to Toys R Us this weekend, at least there, a kid can be a kid.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Lost November

My husband said something very interesting tonight, he said that we've lost all of November. Yes, now where did November go? Every year, we hit November and have what we basically can call the birthday month.

Deb 11/2
Francesca 11/3
John 11/4
Beth 11/6
Michelle 11/11
Rick 11/13
Birk 11/20
Lynda 11/23

It is the birthday onslaught. When two people in your family and some of your very best friends all have birthdays in this kind of succession, it is one big birthday month. One big birthday extravaganza. Non-stop, all of the time fun and frolic full of gift wrap, champagne, and party hats.

Once we hit the end of November, we are ready to slow down and take a breather, but oh, whoa, it's now December! December and the Christmas countdown has started ticking as soon as we finish the turkey leftovers.

Funny enough, we just had a week off with the kids. We slept late, stayed in our pajamas and had no routine, which was our ruin. You basically get nothing done when you aren't forced to get up and get on the move. We were slugs, but we were birthday celebrating slugs.

On a cheerier note, we learned that 6 bottles of champagne for 8 people in a limo is not enough to help us finish off the end of the birthday extravaganza month. Oh birthdays, birthdays, birthdays. Older AND wiser, what a treat.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Getting Locked In A Spa Locker At Midnight On Your 10th Birthday

Wow! That's a title that says it all, doesn't it?

It was Birk's 10th birthday. She crossed into double digits, excited and happy to be leaving 9 and all that baby jazz behind her.

Around 11 PM, her dad took Birk, her sister, Ruth, and her best friend to the pool to finish off what was a pretty terrific day. It was time for the famous night swim.

What we didn't expect, was for her best friend to lock her into a pint size spa locker and forget the combination.

No staff on duty, no manager at the front desk of the resort, and my baby trapped in a locker. This puts "use at your own risk" in a whole new light.

Luckily, after 10 minutes of panic, the smartest of the group on the outside of the locker (which included a 9 year old, my husband and a security guard), 13 year old Ruth, figured out how to talk Birk through opening the locker from the inside.

I was blissfully cleaning up from the happy day when Birk arrived shaken and tear ridden. The story was outrageous. We, of course, went on and on about how you would never put yourself into that kind of situation.

Then, we also remembered, kids get into trouble. They get into all kinds of trouble. They get into the kind of trouble that you can't begin to think of warning them about.

Even after 10 years, parenting is still a tricky job. It will always be a tricky job. Things just keep changing, and you never know what is coming up next.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Distressed County French? How 'Bout Distressed American?

We are trying to pick new furniture. I thought this was supposed to be fun, but it's only distressing me out. We only want something to sit on, why is it so complex?

It really comes down to the fact that as a family, we are not all that concerned about the "statement" that we are making. Do we want a couch that screams 2011 Ikea modern, or, are we looking for something traditional straight from the farm, er Barn?

Maybe something from a Crate or a Barrel? Perhaps, we are all just Lazy Peoples?

I'm contemplating a bench from a catalog. A bench that costs more than my first car. All I have to go on is a picture and some measurements. How does one know what that's going to be like when it arrives on my front porch?

Wish me luck. I say me, because, that's what it comes down to. Of all the people that don't care about the furniture in our house, I'm the one that cares the most.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Why, Lion, Why?????

I am an Apple customer. I have the iPhone (only 4 mind you), an iPad and a Mac computer. For a little while, my iPhone has been acting up. My calendars were not syncing, my photos were doing wonky things and my music kept disappearing.

Then, it was time to move to the "cloud." I was not so excited about the "cloud" because I was having trouble with mobile me. On the other hand, maybe the "cloud" would solve all of my problems and my life would return to normal.

I fearlessly figured out how to buy and download Lion. It was not exactly a bargain at $29.99. I clicked all the buttons. I waited hours for it to download.


Now I can't open any word documents. I'm a writer, half my life is written in word documents! My calendars still aren't syncing properly, even though I'm following everything step by step. I can't even upload my pictures to blogger. Otherwise the picture that you would see here would be a very inappropriate picture of me giving the "cloud" the bird.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Why I Love Teenagers

I was tidying up the house when I found the lyrics to Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody taped to the outside of the sliding shower doors. I love teenagers!