Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Making of a Big Sister

This post is going to be very therapeutic for me to write about because I have a very serious condition referred to as "Second Child Syndrome." I am the second child and even more scarring than that- I am the second daughter and my older sister was not what you would call the nurturing, "take you under my wing" kind of big sister. She was the lock you in the bathroom and laugh about it kind of big sister. Or put your gerbil in that little ball and roll it down the stairs just to watch your reaction and laugh about it kind of sister. Or sit on the couch and order you around and laugh about it kind of sister. The following is an actual limerick I wrote in 5th grade that my family still quotes to this day:

I think my sister is crazy.

I think my sister is lazy.

She sits on the couch,

And acts like a grouch.

I think my sister is crazy and lazy!

(Insert illustration of the back of a couch with a conversation bubble above it saying, "Kari, go get me a glass of water." implying my sister is laying on the couch as she orders me around.)

I should mention here that now my older sister, Michelle,is one of my best friends and favorite people to be around. I couldn't imagine life without her, but when we were growing up I was Tom to her Jerry. So being exposed to such behavior, I became an expert at spotting big sister manipulation.

Fast forward 25 years to my own oldest daughter, Annie and her younger sister, Katie. Annie's best friend is Lauren who we use to live next door to. Their family is often so kind and generous to let Katie come over and play too when Annie goes there. But sometimes Annie wants to have some alone time with Lauren and I can respect that. Unfortunately Katie cannot. She usually throws a fit if she knows Annie is going to Lauren's without her. So the other day Annie got a ride home from school with Lauren. She came in smiling and said she had to whisper something in my ear. I leaned down and she asked if she could go over to Lauren's. I nodded and she started for the door. Katie had witnessed this exchange and said, "I want to know the secret too." Without batting an eye Annie went over, whispered something in her ear and then bounded out the door. I was very interested to know what Annie had said to Katie that had allowed her to leave so freely without any more questioning by Katie. But I didn't have to wait long because Katie immediately came skipping over and while giggling said, "I'm the best sister ever."

Well played Annie, well played. Are you sure you're not Michelle's daughter?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

How to Train a Man before the age of 10 or Finn's take on Valentine's Day or the Monkey Puzzle.

Last Thursday night Finn and Annie were getting their Valentines all ready for their class parties the next day. Annie was cheerfully, carefully picking out which ones to give to which boys and girls- because we all know that the message we send to each person must clearly reflect our feelings or intentions regarding them- especially when you are in 2nd grade. Finn was hastily and grumpily putting his together when he said, "I hate Valentine's Day." I was a little surprised by this outburst and asked him what the problem was.

He said, "Everyone makes such a big deal about it."

Mom: "But you get to have a party and get candy. What's wrong with that?"

Finn: "Everyone keeps asking me who I like and I'm sick of it."

Mom has quick flashback to 5th grade and remembers her "boyfriend"- Andrew Hicks- and the Valentine's monkey puzzle he gave me that revealed his feelings for me- which I still own by the way-and suddenly all the dots connect. This is the age that all girls are interested in boys and a few of the boys start to reciprocate but not all of them- Finn being in the latter category.

Finn ends with: "I just want it all to be over."

Ahhh- poor boy has no idea that it is just beginning and I didn't have the heart to tell him.

Ok- so I went and found my monkey puzzle. And the only reason I still have it is because my mom saved it and put it in my childhood scrapbook.

Although after looking at it I decided that it doesn't really reveal any feelings, but sometimes a 10 year old girl's womanly intuition just can't be disputed. I mean what else could receiving a monkey puzzle when everyone else just got a paper valentine mean except "I Love You." Hmmmm- I think that was my best Valentines ever!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Who wore it best?

I have never been a big reader of magazines like "People" or "US Weekly" or "Star." I consider them the literary equivalent of junk food- they sound fun before you read them but they leave you less than satisfied and even a little bit sick when done. But I have been stuck in a hair dryer at the salon with nothing else to pass the time, but those silly magazines. So I have indulged once or twice. I have noticed that one of them has a feature called "Who wore it best?" They have pictures of two or three celebrities who are wearing the same thing to different events, then they have a poll asking about who wore it best. So this is my own version of that. A few years ago for Halloween Eric and I dressed up as Napoleon Dynamite and Deb. I bought a beautiful, vintage pink, shimmery dress circa 1986 that I wore. I even had my hair pulled to the side in what my 7 year old refers to as a "Deb-do." And as thrilling as that night was, I found another occasion to wear it. For a girls' night out, we thought it would be fun to dress up ugly and got laser-tagging. THE dress was the obvious choice.This picture doesn't highlight the dress the best- I'm not sure what I was doing, some sort of German curtsy?!? And I don't know why it is so small? But it was better than the alternate picture of me in this dress that was taken that same night. I was doing a Marilyn Monroe impression and instead of coming off as sexy and sultry, it was just silly and a little bit sickening. So this picture will have to do.
Now I am not the only one who has worn this dress. Julie wore it as well this year when she and Trent dressed up as Napoleon and Deb for Halloween.

And finally, my sister-in-law, Jessica wore it recently for a YW 80s skate night- btw-that's another great Girls' Night Out idea!
So after perusing all this eye- candy, I need you to tell me "Who wore it best?" Now to be fair, Julie was 4 months pregnant when she wore the dress, but she also is the photographer of my nasty Marilyn Monroe picture and she has not been shy about posting it on Facebook so I feel no remorse whatsoever for including her in this poll- even if she is pregnant. My personal pick is Jessica. She kicked it up a notch with her saucy, hot pink high heels.

And for you final viewing pleasure here is a picture of me seriously wearing a very similarly styled dress back in 1988. My mom made it for me and I am not ashamed to say I LOVED IT- big bow in the back and all. (The pink one also has a big bow on the butt too but it didn't make it into any of the pictures.) This was taken at a Youth conference before the big dance. My cousin, Chandra, is with me. Don't we look hot! Jared Fish eat your heart out!:) Jared was my obsession when I was 14!
Well, tune in next time for "Whose behind is the best?"

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Week of January 26th- February 1st

I'm in a bit of a writing funk and can think of no clever ways to describe the events of the past week, but I feel they must be documented and recorded so sorry if you came looking for a funny or witty story- it just ain't gonna happen this time. Unfortunately this post is all about obligation and my motherly instinct /guilt to get my family's events recorded. I just reread that and it is a pretty pathetic introduction to the first event- so sorry Suzie if you are reading this 20 years from now and feel like your 2nd birthday wasn't inspiration enough for me. You are my favorite 2 year old ever and have the most kissable cheeks imaginable. So Happy 2nd Birthday Suzie.

We celebrated by having beignets- French donuts we got introduced to in New Orleans and bought some mix while there- for breakfast. Suzie and I got to go to McDonalds for lunch with some friends- well really they are my friends and just happen to have kids Suzie's age so it worked out well. There are no pictures to document this event because my other kids don't know about it and would have been livid to think they missed a celebratory trip to McDonalds. So there is no evidence. Plus they were all in school and what they don't know won't hurt them.

That night we went bowling per everyone but Suzie's request. But I think she had a good time. Although I don't think she quite caught on to the concept of the game. She thought it was great fun to put the ball up on the little stand and push it. But then she would turn around and say, "I did it." without bothering to see if she knocked any pins down. Finn kept trying to get her to actually watch the ball go down the lane. I was very impressed with her ability to to lift the ball herself and put it on the stand. I mean, really, you try bowling with a ball that is a 1/3 of your weight.

We came home and admidst the crys of protest by my other children for not having a full-on birthday party with family over, enjoyed a Snickers cake again chosen by everyone but Suzie. So Suzie, I hope you enjoyed your day that wasn't really about you!But that is the great thing about being young and dumb- you don't know any different and really every day is about you!

We also had another signifcant event this week- Finn's first time actually participating in the Pinewood Derby. Technically it is the second time he has entered, but the first time he got to go. If you would like to read about what that really means-click here. He found the Pinewood Derby like putting on a pair of well-worn slippers- it was made just for him. It was right up his alley and he loved every minute of it. His car was named "Dollar Short" because when they weighted it in it was too light and they had to glue 4 quarters to the bottom of it to make it legit and anyone who has been to a Pinewood Derby knows the importance of being legit!

It had a "U" theme and was going to have a leftover "U" tattoo from the Sugar bowl put on the side, but "someone" threw it away in an effort to declutter the countertop before she knew it was intended for this purpose. But luckily Eric doesn't read my blog so he doesn't know "someone" did this and when he was looking for it, "someone" even pretended to look for it too-knowing full-well it was securely in the city dump. Ooops! Look what happens when I try to organize my house! Anyway even without the "U" emblem- it was a winning ride.
He won 2nd place for the 2nd year in a row. He only has one more year to try for the "big enchilada." And I must say, Eric looks real "sezzy" in his scout uniform!;)
And on a final note for the week, I was downloading my pictures and found a whole assortment of pictures like this one on my camera.

My kids love Aunt Nanny and I love "Happy Tuesdays" when Natalie comes over and watches my kids for a couple of hours so I can run errands by myself. Between my sister, Michelle and I Natalie won't have to raise her firstborn with all the babysitting hours she will have accumulated with us.