Working mom, grad school student, stage mom, and overall insane person blogging about my life as I know it. Expect funny stuff, sad stuff and general rants about my family, my life and my world. I promise it won't be boring! :-)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

ARRRRR Tis Pirate Island it be...

I'm all for imagination play. Or as Spongebob says, Im A gin AAAAAAAAA tion. :-) On Sunday after church, Budgie decided to take out his ImagiNEXT pirate set (about $300 worth of toys, but who's counting) and play Pirate Island in the backyard. Not knowing what Pirate Island was, and thinking he would play in the NICE CLEAN GRASS I let it go and finished doing laundry.

About an hour later, I hear the siren's cry of the excited four-year-old.


I put down the socks I was matching and went outside to look.

Budgie had constructed the most AMAZING play scenario I'd ever seen. In the sand under the swing set he had dug out a lake, with smaller inlets where he could pour water to keep the lake full. He had placed his enormous pirate ship in the water, set up the cannons, put out his crew, set up the island for attack, buried his treasure chests and even populated the "jungle" (a patch of crabgrass) with dinosaurs and other animals. It was the most incredible thing I've ever seen. Beanie and Budgie played for HOURS with that setup.

And after everyone else had gone to bed, and my chores were done for the day, I went out in the dark and squirted sand from every square inch of the toys, including the cracks and crevices of the pirate ship. Under normal circumstances, I would have been pissed off that my spouse left the toys in the yard in the muck to be ruined or for me to clean up. But this ONE time it didn't bother me so much. I was happy that my kids had such an awesome time and used their Im A gin AAAAAAAAA tions to the point of literal exhaustion.

Yesterday, while I was at work, Pirate Island made another guest appearance. And sure enough Mom was out there AGAIN hosing off the cast of characters again, in the dark, while everyone else slept. And you know what? It didn't bother me a bit.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Are we Almost There Yet?


When summer first starts, I'm a happy camper. No dragging Beanie out of bed at 6:30 so that she and I can fight over the bathroom and what uniform pieces she is going to wear that day (I thought uniforms made this go away???? LOL). No packing lunches. Nothing. Just two (hopefully) sleeping kids when I roll out of bed at 7:00 and into the shower and out the door by 7:30.

I've grown lazy. I've only had to care for myself in this time. The kids' teeth are brushed while I'm sitting at my desk at work, reading emails. Their breakfast is eaten while I'm most likely in a meeting. But that is soon to end, my friends...soon I will be wrestling Beanie for pole position at the sink while yelling at Budgie to quit eating sissy's Lunchables.

Oh, the Lunchable dilemma is another story for another time.

Beanie received her school bus notification postcard in yesterday's mail. Bus number 57, arrives at 7:25 a.m. sharp on August 30!


I guess this means that I'd better go and get her replacement pieces of uniform she outgrew this summer. I swear she's grown 6 inches...

And I'd better get myself ready to start school. Yup, I'm taking the leap and restarting my master's program. Gotta get it done and now is probably better. Before dance and football and music theater and...and...and...begins to encroach on my few remaining free hours.

So what is the point of all this?

1. stream of consciousness
2. School starts soon. Budgie starts next year so this will be his last year of freedom.
3. I am tired of people blogging about the oil spill and the Obamas and everything else.

There. All this AND it's Friday the 13th. Whoopee freakin' doo!!! *looks up at ceiling, waiting for a tile to fall on my head*

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Volleyball Woes

Beanie decided this summer that she wanted to try volleyball this school year.


Did I ever tell you that Beanie has as much athletic ability as I do?

Go ahead, laugh out loud.

Beanie is very much her mother's daughter. That girl can SING. She's a natural actress. She can Ukrainian dance like a champ. But the ONE thing she can NOT do is anything involving a ball. Srsly. She repels spherically-shaped, inflated vinyl. Don't worry, Kid...I think your great-great grandfather sucked up all the athleticism in the family to catch for the Pirates and it just hasn't come back in its entirety yet. Budgie, on the other hand, must have gotten a bit from his father's side of the family 'cause that's my sporto...

Anyway, Beanie decided she wanted to play volleyball at school this year. Talked to the lady in charge and she said that Catholic school rules differ a bit from public schools and there really isn't a "tryout", everyone that wants to play, plays. MMMMMkay. So I told the lady yesterday about Beanie's musical theater stuff and her Ukrainian dance (Monday nights from September through July). Of course the games are Mondays and Wednesdays from September through October. Just the 4 day per week, 4 + hours per day rehearsals (7 or 8 hours on Sundays) for Phantom AND her all-day Saturday PMT class schedule would eliminate her from being able to participate.

Even if she didn't do PMT this year, missing one of the two games per week for Ukrainian dance would be an issue. sigh. This person was very pushy about Larissa playing (of course, because it's her daughter's last year and she doesn't want to see the program die before her daughter can have a glorious swan song of a season) and said that they could work with her. Um, woman, what part of "my kid can't physically make practice with her other activities, so back off" don't you understand? GAH! I agreed to be kept on the email list and got off the phone.

So I approached Beanie with a choice. Stick with PMT and Kyiv, or try something new. I told her I know what my preference would be (didn't say what that preference WAS), but I would stand by any decision she made. She started crying and said, "I will stick with PMT". She was crushed that she couldn't add another activity to her schedule, but I warned her this may happen.

I am proud of her for sticking through with the PMT stuff, and the Ukie dance stuff, but at the same time I'm a bit sad that she can't try something new. Something she may have liked, spherical vinyl object repulsion aside.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Mommies Weekend

This past weekend, my friend Christine and I went to Morristown, NJ to attend the Ukrainian Orthodox League convention banquet/ball. Having not gone to such an event in 20+ years, I knew what to expect, but was feeling apprehensive about it. After all, I'm older, I STILL haven't lost my "baby weight" and my self-esteem isn't exactly the greatest right now. For many reasons.

Christine convinced me to go and I have to say, I'm soooo glad I went. Yes, I felt self-conscious in my dress and heels, surrounded by thinner, prettier, YOUNGER women. Yes, I wish I had money to spend so I didn't feel like I had to budget every. single. penny. But this weekend was an eye-opener for me. Why?

First off, everyone there that knew me, knew me as Christy Hopkins. There was no Christy Hudson. They knew me as I was when I was much younger. And that helped. A LOT. I really, for the first time in about 12 years, felt like ME. And that, my friends, was worth the price of admission. And then some.

Chris, a parishoner in my church (and a 20-something guy), was talking with my friend Christine. She referred to me for the first time by my maiden name and he said (with surprise) "SHE'S Christy Hopkins? She's LEGEND". I'm positively for sure positive he was joking, but it still made me feel good. Maybe it's an ego thing, but his comment made me really smile on the inside. And besides, it turns out that, after all these years, he has my All Saints Camp hat. It has my name on the underside of the brim. So THAT's where it went... :-D

Second, the polka. Something as simple as hearing an accordion and the 1-2-3 beat just takes me back to my teenage years. Hearing a Ukrainian folk song LIVE makes me all happy inside. I sat at our table and watched everyone dancing (when I wasn't) and had a great time listening and singing along in the language of my grandparents. It's the getting back in touch with my roots, my ethnicity, who I AM, that brought back that spark of life in me that had been hidden for so long. I AM a Ukrainian and nothing makes me happier than hearing a polka, sung in Ukrainian, and eating a plate of halushki and vareneky (pierogies) and drinking vodka.

Third, I need to bond to friends. I need to be Christy Hopkins for a while, instead of mommy or the Assistant Director of Marketing or a daughter or whatever. I need to be ME for just a little while so that I can BE a better mommy or Assistant Director of Marketing or daughter. I need this in order to put things into perspective. I need to talk with another adult that isn't related to me and joke and laugh about something other than Spongebob. To have an ongoing laugh that nobody else would understand, even if I explained it.

I've had awesome evenings out recently with old friends from high school, which have been incredible for me as well. However, for some reason, this weekend AWAY from everything really lit a spark in me that I'm glad to have back. Maybe it was the total immersion in the Ukrainian-ness that made me feel alive again. Like I found that missing piece and glued it back into place.

When I walked through the door on Sunday evening, I was truly happy for the first time in a long time. I was sooo happy to be with the kids and to see their smiling faces and their excited hugs and the million kisses they were so happy to give. But most of all, I was happy to be me again. To have had the opportunity to be Christy Hopkins and to let GO of things for a bit. To let my hair down, dance, laugh, and have maybe one too many Cosmopolitans for a change. So that I can go back to being a better, stronger, happier Christy Hudson.

I think this is going to be a regular thing. Christine and I are already planning on going to Philadelphia for next year's convention. Next time, we'll stay another day and bring more old friends along with us.