Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Charlie's birthday is in two days, so I decided to finally actually POST this post that I wrote last week and for some reason never posted. If I start off "Birthday Season" already behind on the blog, it may be something I(or actually just the blog)will never recover from! So, this first week of school went something like this:

August 25, 2011

We took two steps forward yesterday and got all five school-aged children off to school on time to three different locations! It took much planning and no fewer than five alarm clocks (seriously), but we managed it.

Joe left for middle school (I am still refusing to call it Junior High) before we could get a picture. Needless to say, our summer {non} schedule combined with my RA symptoms make mornings tough around here. My kids asked the other day if I would ever be out of bed and make them breakfast without them having to come and get/drag me out of bed. Why aren't I like the mom's on TV? You know the ones who have breakfast waiting and ready and wake their children with a happy song every morning? (I actually kind of had a mom like that, so it made it hard for me to tell them that those kind of moms aren't real). Seriously, all my sibs out there, our mom was like that, right? Or am I mis-remembering it?

Anyway, John made it through his first day of pre-kindergarten and was home only five minutes before he had changed into his Darth Maul costume. He was home only fifteen minutes before I found him like this: This is on the landing of our stairs....I don't know what appears that he litterally fell aspleep while walking up the stairs.

This morning, reality set in a bit one was quite as anxious to get out the door. In fact, Charlie didn't make it there until after lunch. He was just too nervous to go - according to him. That's where the one step backwards comes in. I just had to wait him out...make it more boring at home than it could possibly at school. He finally cracked around eleven and made it in.

The novelty hadn't worn off for John fact he climbed on the bus all by himself this morning without a second look back. I of course tailed the bus all the way to his elementary school (not the same one where Maggie, Harry & Charlie go, because, you know, that would just be too easy) and anxiously waited for him at the school. He looked at me like I was crazy when he saw me at the school. Is it crazy that I want my pre-kindergartner to have a cell phone and text me when he's arrived safely at school? Because I'm seriously considering it. It seems the older I get, the more anxious I become....or maybe it's because he's FOUR!


Who lets their four year old ride the bus to school without even an older brother or sister to help? The jury is still out on this one. I guess only time will tell. Maybe I'll just follow the bus everyday. But that seems kind of dumb.

Big sigh.

And what have I been keeping myself busy with? Yeah, you guessed it. Cupcakes. I guess I should be glad...there's just something about the everyday nature of it that wears on me. And every time I do another wedding I say to myself, "self, you should stop doing don't really make any money and you just drive yourself and everybody around you crazy with your crazy anxiety". But then, I go to the venue and set everything up, and that part is fun..the energy at most weddings is pretty fun. So, again, big sigh, I guess we'll just have to wait and see on this one. After my last post about the Cold Stone corporates coming to check out the cupcakes, I feel it's only right to tell all you that they postponed their trip up to SLO (for other reasons they say). So, for any of you out there who keep going to your local Cold Stone Creamery looking for the On A Lark Cupcake Shoppe, I guess you may have to wait a little bit longer...or you may just have to make a trip to SLO - that might be more fun, and I can almost guarantee faster.

I myself am taking a little trip. Next week marks my 35th birthday.


"Why does this keep happening to us?!?, I thought we had a deal!"

Extra points if you know what TV show that's from and who said it. But you'd have to be almost as old as me to know it, so, you know, that's pretty old.

I'll be taking advantage of airline miles and a still unemployed husband (not complaining...seriously I don't know how I'd get the kids to school every day if he was going to work) and taking a few days up in Oregon with my parents and sisters...sans least of my own.

Now, time to get back to work...there are presents to be bought, and presents to be sewn (kind of in over my head on this one, but hopefully it will work out), back to school nights at three schools to attend, and a trip to get ready for. Battle on Girls, Battle on. (Triple points if you know what tv show that one comes from)

Monday, August 8, 2011

What Does Nothing Look Like?

Well, if you want to know the answer to that question, come on over to our house for a little tour.

We are currently into the long, hot, (well not too hot) dog day kind of summer. You know the kind...where the days are long but the weeks are so stay up late watching shows like Toddlers and Tiaras and My Strange Addiction on TLC, and then quickly flip back to Lifetime for the new season of Project Runway. The kind of of days where, if you're a kid, you play musical beds at night, and just fall asleep in whos ever room you happen to be in when it's time for bed. The kind of mornings where you sleep in and wander into your parents room to find that they too have slept in. Maybe it's because their baby brother Jack has decided to really play up the whole "baby" angle he's got going on and stay up all night...insisting that either mom or dad stay up with him. Right now we're kind of playing tag team right now with him....counting our blessings that this little guy made it into our family, but also counting our blessings that we know when enough is enough.

Joe has a theory about how many children people should have....since I know you're dying to learn this it is, "you only know when you have enough children when you have one TOO MANY children...but what are you going to do about it then?" And really, I hate to admit it, but he's kind of right. I remember a very specific moment driving home from Disneyland, no less, with five children sitting happily in the back of our Chrysler Towne & Country. I looked at Joe and said, "I think we could handle another one...I mean...we just survived three days at Disneyland with five kids...and actually had a good hard could one more be?" Well,three years later, and we're still finding out, every single day with this kid!

Anyway, that's not the point of this post...but to be honest, there really is no point. Just some updates. Today is August 8, 2011. That means there are no less than 16 days left until school starts. We've started the back to school backpacks and binders, markers and erasers. It's funny to see how some children are so excited to get back, while others are a bit more hesitant (No names will be named). Some children are excited about being upper-classmen at their school, while others are worried about starting back at the bottom of the food chain. Some have to worry about having hot lunch or packed lunch, while others are worried about finding each new class in the right amount of passing time.

We've been passing our time, and mostly, our days are pretty full. Joe finished up his transitional work at the bank, and has been home with us for over a week now. That has taken some getting used to, but then I got this email from our ColdStone Area Developers about our cupcakes. Here, I'll put in a little excerpt:

"Good Morning Joe and Brooke,

Congrats on what I believe is a successful Co Branding venture. You have increased your SSS +10.6% through June and our market average during the same period of time is -.9. We have been tracking your weekly sales, since January, and you are averaging $488 per week. With these types of numbers, I think it is time to let the secret out of the bag. However, I think it is important that we all talk about how we want to proceed. There are many areas that we need to talk about so we are on the same page…operations, marketing, display requirements, equipment requirements…and the like. Please let me know the best time (s) so we can arrange a call to start the process."

So, I guess that's good, but scary too....maybe look for an "On A Lark Cupcake Shoppe" in a Coldstone near you? But honestly, the thought of keeping this going in just one store is taking just about every bit of energy I've got...I can't imagine making it work in other stores...oh well...I'm sure the big guys at Coldstone know more than I do. So, with Joe home all the time, I have no excuse to not go in there and really make the cupcake thing work (although I seem to find those excuses every single day).

But, on another note, literally, having Dad home has some definite plus when you're Jack and you love Little Einsteins. Imagine the delight you have when you discover that your daddy can just play the theme song by ear on the piano for you? You look at your dad like a totally different guy after that. Or if you're six and starting second grade and know your times tables up and down but what you really want is to be able to play some Star Wars song on the piano like your older brothers can. So, one day, your dad just shows you how to do it. No book required...just your fingers and your ears (and a little tongue action) and you're set! I'm sure his piano teacher will be so happy to know that Charlie can play by ear...I'm sure that's just the preparation she hopes all her students will have. Now she'll get to spend the next few months breaking him of this lovely skill.

So yeah, for now we're running on love and faith and prayer, and also of course,on cupcakes and ice cream. So, if you're close, go on down and get some ice cream and cupcakes too...promise they'll make you feel like it's really summer...better hurry though...summer is quickly coming to a close!

And now, for your viewing pleasure, please enjoy this video of my almost seven year old playing some star wars song.....completely by ear.


Untitled from Brooke Brundage on Vimeo.