Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Parent Teacher Conference

Well last Friday Kyle was out of school because of parent teacher conferences. Ronnie has always been able to go with me to these conferences but he wasn’t able to make it this time. The conference lasted less than 5 mins. I am so lucky to have Kyle for a son. He truly enjoys school and is not a problem child. Don’t get me wrong, he has had a few issues, like talking at inappropriate times and forgetting to turn in homework and from the 1st grade until the 5th grade his teachers have allowed him to stand at his desk to help him work out his excess energy, but I’ve never been called in for mean behavior and for that I am grateful. This year he has been sitting in class and I think that might be because he has 3 times a day where he can go outside and play for 5 to 15 mins. Just a little side note here… everyone seems so concerned with childhood obesity these days and the schools seem to take away more and more outside play time…hmm interesting. So anyway while I was in the conference Lana and Kyle played outside together. Lana wasn’t expecting it to be so short so I let her play for a little while longer. Afterwards we went out to lunch and the kid’s behavior was top notch. I was able to have conversations with both of them instead of correcting behavior all during lunch. I got so much insight out of that 20 minute lunch. I learned that Kyle didn’t know that “your momma jokes” aren’t really about his momma. The poor kid was getting so upset at the boys in class cracking these jokes because he thought they were really talking about his momma. I learned that Kyle is not willing to be mean to other kids to gain popularity. I learned that Lana really does like to go to preschool even though she gives me a hard time EVERY time I drop her off. I learned that Kyle is now good friends with the boy that tricked him into cutting a chunk out of his hair right before picture day (see if you can find the missing chunk from the picture above...Hint, front and center). I learned that Lana has one volume when saying the Pledge of Allegiance…LOUD. But the most revealing thing I learned was that my kids can really get along for 20 whole minutes without yelling or screaming and that gives me hope for the future. Hip Hip Hooray for a great day!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Brown Thumb

Have ya’ll seen the movie 28 Days? Well all I really remember about it is that there are these people in a rehab for different addictions. One of their rules for going back into society is first they have to keep a plant alive, then a pet, then they are ready for a relationship. If I were them I would fail at the first task miserably. Maybe this also explains why we just aren’t pet people either.

I have been aware of the fact that I just can’t seem to keep a houseplant alive since I went off to college. My first apartment I got came with a care package that included hanging ivy. It died shortly after I moved in. Then for many years I was plantless until Ronnie got me a geranium for Mother’s Day one year when we lived in Colorado. I tried to take care of it then decided it was best to plant it outside where it soon died from lack of water. Then last spring I got a great idea to plant a vegetable garden in Las Vegas. Well it actually went well, partially from the fact that it was watered on an automatic timer. After harvesting radishes, corn, tomatoes, cantaloupes, eggplants, carrots, and strawberries I had a renewed confidence of growing plants.

With my newly found green thumb I set out of find some houseplants. I wanted three houseplants of varying sizes and shades of green. I even did some research to find the easy to grow varieties. Then I set out to purchase them which were a bit difficult to find the varieties I wanted at the height I wanted, but I did find them all at last. I found them all a nice spot in the corner of my living room where they were able to get a little sunlight. They seemed happy in their new home until I had to move them to make room from the Christmas tree. The one that was supposed to be the easiest to grow started dropping its leaves daily. I thought the problem was that maybe they were getting too cold because they were by a window that doesn’t get much sunlight at all and is quite drafty. Then I went to move it and the plant was really heavy. I took a closer look and discovered the problem. The poor plant was sitting in six inches of water. Well at least I found the problem but I think it’s too late to save the plant.

Unfortunately my daughter is also developing my brown thumb. She got a cute little ivy for her room that she could take care of herself. I check on it yesterday and found it dying from lack of water. I tried to water it and it was so dry that the water just rolled down the sides of the plant and down to plate it was sitting on. I had to soak the pant for a while in the sink before it started to absorb water. We’ll see if it makes a comeback but I don’t have much hope.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Sretan Bozic

Ronnie got a little cultured today. He was invited over to one of his friend’s parent’s home for their Christmas celebration. Yes, this happened today, his friend is from Serbia and they switched over to the Gregorian calendar and like everyone else had their own way of doing it. The Catholics just added 14 days all at once and kept Christmas on Dec. 25th. The Serbian Orthodox didn’t move all at once and they didn’t keep the date but they celebrated Christmas on what day it would have been by adding 14 days…anyway it is way confusing. You should look up how many variations there are on people converting from the Julian calendar over to the Gregorian calendar…mind boggling.

Back to the celebration, Ronnie was served more kinds of meat than I knew existed cooked in all kinds of yummy ways. He had Sarma (Serbian Cabbage Rolls stuffed with beef and pork and spices), ćevapčići (small rolls of mixed minced meat – pork, beef, and lamb), Serbian Pita stuffed with cheese, Veal Steaks, Beef Steaks, Ribs, Ruska Salata (Russian Salad ), Lamb, a Christmas Cake (Chesnica) – it has a silver coin inside and whoever finds it will have good luck for the next year, and a Banana Cake (A sponge cake with a banana in the middle with chocolate and coconut on top. He was also offered some šljivovica (plum brandy) which he turned down for two reasons. One, he was there on his lunch break and you’re really not supposed to drink on the job and two, he’s really LDS he just doesn’t know it yet.

He was given a pair of wool slippers made by his friend’s Baba (grandma) for the whole family. They are very cute and very warm, but I don’t think they have very many wood floors over in Serbia. We can slide so good with the slippers on, I feel like Tom Cruise in Risky Business, which by the way I’ve never really seen the whole movie just the sock sliding part. It almost feels disrespectful to walk on something that was made by hand, but I’m sure she didn’t make them to sit around, so to good use they will go. He was also sent home with extra food so the whole family could try some.

Then to top off his cultural rich day, a lady he works with sent him home with homemade tamales. Oh by the way, the title of this post means Merry Christmas in Serbian.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Christmas Morning

Well Christmas has come and gone and I still haven’t posted anything about Christmas morning. Sorry I’ve just been relaxing too much. Christmas and relax in the same sentence? Yeah, Christmas was very relaxing this year, I didn’t stress over the little things, and I tried with all my might to wake up each morning and think about what this season is truly about. To quote The Grinch “it came without the ribbons the wrappings, the trimmings the trappings…Christmas…maybe means something more.” Well of course we had the ribbons and wrapping and trimmings, but just not to the extent we usually go though. And not everyday did I seem as relaxed as I’d wished. The Sunday before Christmas I decided that I absolutely had to go and exchange a gift I had bought for something else. Yes I know the Lord only asks that we take one day out of our week for him and I was reminded of that as I was walking out of the store talking on my cell phone and tripped and hurt my ankle. Got to love the timing…yes lesson learned.

This year I realized that it’s really hard to buy a gift for a child that has everything. I’m really thinking that next year Santa will leave something a little different like music lessons or ballet lessons or something along those lines. I’ll have to use my Mom Card and put in a special request.

Christmas Morning was early this year. Kyle had asked Ronnie if he could set his alarm and Ronnie said yes. So at 5:00AM Kyle is up and bugging us to get up. Why, I asked Ronnie, why did you say yes? So we rolled out of bed, one of us very reluctantly and headed down the hall. All the hours of wrapping packages were undone in a few minutes. Then the fun part, undoing all the little twists ties and plastic bands that secure all the toys to the packaging. Kyle has moved on to the easier things like video games that you just unwrap and play with, but Lana’s toys are packaged so well, they could take a trip down the Grand Canyon and still be perfectly positioned. I think things should be packaged based on their value; a $2.50 My Little Pony should not have the same security as Fort Knox. After all the mayhem was unleashed I went back to bed. Then my wonderful husband cooked breakfast, the best present of all.