Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Greatest Show on Earth

This post is silly.

I need a little humor in my life. It will help balance all the serious stuff that is happening. {Last night was the Mother's Tea. Five days until Baccalaureate. Six days until Honors Night. Ten days till the last day of school for Seniors. Thirteen days until graduation.}

A few weeks ago we had a Sunday lunch at Red Robin. The Short Chic is at the age where she loves the child friendly place-mats that have the kids menu printed on them at restaurants. She has become a great Waldo finder, plays a mean game of tick tack toe and has even sharpened her coloring skills.

Back to Red Robin. Their place-mat has a funny Find Your Circus Name that brought us all lots of chuckles. Since all of our last names where the same, we changed it to first name and middle name.

My circus name is: The Magnificent Sword Swallower!


The Short Chic is: The Benevolent Human Cannonball


The Husband is: The Amazing Sideshow Star!


The Boy is: The Unbelievable Crying Mime! 



Won't you join me in some stress-relieving silliness? What is your circus name?

First Name:                                                              Middle or Last Name:

A: The Incredible                                                        A: Dancing Seal
B: The Two-Headed                                                    B. Laughing Clown
C: The Amazing                                                          C. Soaring Acrobat
D: The Unthinkable                                                     D. Sword Swallower
E: The Superhuman                                                     E. Ball Juggler
F: The Flying                                                               F: Painted Horse
G: The Dazzling                                                          G: Crying Mime
H: The Fantastic                                                          H: Cannon Blaster
I: The Glow-in-the-dark                                               I: Fire Breather
J: The Unbelievable                                                     J: Ringmaster
K: The Twirling                                                           K: Mustached Zookeeper
L: The Wonderful                                                        L: Plate Spinner
M: The Impressive                                                       M: Snake Charmer
N: The Atrocious                                                          N: Trapeze/Artist
O: The Benevolent                                                       O: Siamese Twins
P: The Magnificent                                                       P: Human Cannonball
Q: The Formidable                                                       Q: Stilt Walker
R: The Make-believer                                                   R: Magic Elephant
S: The Purple                                                                 S: Spooky Magician
T: The Astounding                                                         T: Colorful Unicycle
U: The Backwards                                                          U: Talking Monkey
V: The Great                                                                   V: Tightrope Walker
W: The Spectacular                                                        W: Sideshow Star
X: The Invisible                                                              X: Singing Lady
Y: The Terrific                                                               Y: Lion Tamer
Z: The Upside-down                                                       Z: Top Hat

Price Matching Nightmare

Okay, so I might be under a little bit of stress these days. Both of my kids are involved in spring sports. The Short Chic is winding down year long sports. In addition to prom festivities and graduation preparations.  I would say that yes, I am a bit stressed.

I will also admit to not feeling the best. In a rush to finish projects I grabbed the curling iron heating element and not the handle. I seriously seared the palm of my hand and spent the entire day in major pain.  But my price matching nightmare I do not believe is attributed to my not feeling well or my stress level. Although it did not do much to aid with either one!

As I popped into my local Wal Mart store to pick up some needed photos for one of  my graduation projects,  I decided to pick up some groceries for our After Prom Breakfast. I can tell you that when I enter Wal Mart on a Saturday, or any day between Thanksgiving and New Year's,  I usually put on my extra patience outfit.

I can always expect that the lines will be long. That the other customers will be quick tempered. That the children will be tired and cranky. But this past weekend I nearly lost my damned mind right there at checkout line number 16.

I was actually quite pleased with myself for being patient enough to walk down to station 16 because I found only one person in that line. Bonus was that she was in the middle of her checkout process. I thought for sure I would be in/out of Wal Mart in a few short moments. In my book that is an accomplishment on a Saturday.

Until the lady in front of me tried to price match the items she was buying at Wal Mart. She literally told the cashier, "I am not sure where but these items are on sale somewhere."  I might be crazy but that is absolutely where this story should end. The clerk should have said, "I am sorry, unless you have the sale ad's to show me where, I can not price match these items."

But you all know that is not what happened. No instead the customer pulls out here smartphone and asks Siri to "locate a place that has this product on sale this week". When Siri was unable to help her, the Customer Service Manager on duty went and scrounged up all the weekly sale ads she could find.

She brought them to the register and they proceeded to go through every single advertisement. And I waited. And waited.

And when they could not find them in any of the advertisements, the Customer Service Manager just gave her a price match anyway. I guess Coke products are on sale....somewhere. Right?

Sadly I waited about a half an hour to check out. Yes, I probably should have taken my items off the belt and put them back into the cart and went and found another line to stand in.  I should have. But I did not. Instead I witnessed a horrible case of negative reinforcement.

Do any of  you  really believe that the customer listened when the CSM said, "next time bring your advertisements?"  WHY WOULD SHE? You just showed her that you will go to great lengths to find and even give away a price match. Heck, maybe I will just start claiming a price match in order to save myself a few dollars?

Sunday, April 26, 2015

A Much Needed Reprieve

The weekend is winding down. There are only a few more hours left in this day meaning a new week will start momentarily. Time is running out. We are only two weekends away from The Boy's high school graduation.

Graduation preparations have taken over our lives. My living room has become one giant party planning craft room. I have project after project in multiple stages of completion. My technology skills have been put to the test as I try to create a graduation video. I find myself exhausted but sleepless as I run through to-do list and budgets nonstop in my head!

With all of that said, the past two weekends have brought a small reprieve. They have been prom weekends.  I found myself immersed in tuxedo's, gowns, flowers, photographs, and dancing if only for a few moments! One last high school tradition before graduation.

This years prom festivities were so different from last. Last year he attended two proms. One he went with a group of friends and the other a blind date. One of my wishes was that he would find someone special to share a prom moment with.  A few months ago The Boy met a girl.  I would love to share more on the two of them but I have to keep reminding myself that some stories are not mine to share.  But, I will say this: The girl has since rocked his world! It is a nice feeling when you see your child learn to share his world with another person. Well, someone other than his sister or his brother.

Since they do not attend the same school, he got to experience two proms again this year. One date for each of them. Two nights of dancing. Two nights for making memories.

The first prom was hers. She attends a small private school and the dance is student organized and ran. Ironically we found ourselves right back at the place we visited last year for prom photos.  I would imagine this waterfall has seen many prom goers!  There was a small, well dress group that went to dinner and the dance together. Although it was small, The Boy reported that he had a great time and it was actually fun.

Our second prom was for his school. There was no large group to organize. It was just The Boy and his girl.  Last summer I completed a Kansas City Fountains Tour and I visited parts of the city I had never been in. One of the places I stumbled upon was called The Colonnade in Northeast Kansas City. The Boy requested we take prom photos there. Knowing it was a beautiful location I thought it was perfect. Mostly because I doubted any other prom goers would be there. It is a quiet location, forgotten by the masses and it worked perfectly for us.

Little did we know when we selected The Colonnade that his girlfriend's mom grew up in this part of the city. She told us a lovely family story about her grandparents eloping and the only photo they had was taken in front of The Colonnade.  the old fountain in her Grandma and Grandpa's photo has been removed but the structure is still there. And looks amazing.

 I am such a sap for meaningful moments and places. I certainty do not know this couples future but it does feel as if the stars aligned themselves to share this moment.

We experienced rain all day. Luckily that dried up but what lingered was really unseasonable cold weather.  I am not going to lie to you all, it was downright cold! As I sat at home looking at prom photos that other proud parents posted on social media I saw many girls with goosebumps on their arms as they fought through the cold for the sake of a perfect prom photo.

Getting a boy and a girl ready for prom could not be the further apart on the spectrum. The girlfriend spent most of the afternoon getting her hair done (I believe three hours was the exact time commitment). Then there are the nails. And the makeup.

The Boy on the other hand,  spent the entire afternoon at the Kansas State University Spring Fling out at Sporting KC Park. His Wildcats played in a spring exhibition game that his family got tickets for. Instead of working on his hair, he was most excited to meet and wish Tyler Lockett best wishes in the 2015 NFL Draft this week.

He got home thirty minutes before we were schedule to arrive at his dates home. Thirty minutes to get ready.  Sorry to all the mom's of girls out there ! I promise my time is coming. The Short Chic is already planning for her future prom.

We were fortunate enough to surround these two with loved ones before prom. Their entire families came to wish them well. Even Aunt Tracy and Darren were able to swing by and see the couple before they departed for the evening.

The kids were driven to dinner and to the prom by a local service. Their driver actually asked them if they had just gotten married! He was not the only person, someone else drove past The Colonnade and honked their horn at them. They were home from prom by 11:15. I think they had a good time. But I feel like they had a better time at the first prom.

The focus on public school prom in our area is on the photos and the party bus. So many people stay at prom for less than a half an hour.

Another prom season has come to an end. The tux was returned this afternoon. The dress is headed to the cleaners. The flowers have wilted. All that remains is the memories and the photos.

Sadly, my small reprieve from graduation planning is over. If I were the drinking kind of girl, I might need some cocktails to help me forget that in just a few short weeks my little boy, who is no longer a boy, will be graduated. And before I am ready, he will move away to go to college.

And the next time I see him this dressed up will likely be when he or his friends start creating families of their own. But, seriously, we do not need to rush into anything!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Senior Skip Day

Senior Skip Day.

A tradition I am familiar with. One that has not gone by wayside and, as I found out this week, is still being celebrated by seniors across the county. The Boy had his Senior Skip Day this week.

I remember my Senior Skip Day. Let's just say there was alcohol, sex, and drugs involved. (Not that this blogger was involved in those activities but they were present.) So, to say that The Boy's Senior Skip Day caused me a lot of anxiety is not an understatement!

The Seniors planned their skip day to coincide with home opener of baseball here in Kansas City. In case you outsiders forgot our Kansas City Royals are the 2014 American League Champions and this city loves their boys in blue! For those that could not get tickets to the home opener, tailgating in the parking lot was a better option than watching the game from home or a local drinking establishment.

Part of me was excited at the location for Senior Skip Day. I do not condone teen drinking and I spend a lot of time talking about that with my son. I was very concerned about how easy teen drinkers would be to get the attention of undercover and uniformed police officers.

I was also concerned with driving to and from the stadium. Yesterday alone, 40,000 people attended the game. That does not include all those extra's who drove out just to tailgate. That is a lot of people navigating the roadways at one time.  While two years of driving makes The Boy an expert in his head, it clearly does not in mine!

I am happy to say, he made it safely to and from Senior Skip Day. And while he never got tickets to the game, he did help cheer our Kansas City Royals to their first official victory of the season!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter!

From our family to yours, we wish you a Happy Easter!

The Boy's Final Food Day

This post is about The Boy. And Buffalo Chicken Dip. But mostly about The Boy and his love for Buffalo Chicken Dip.

Throughout high school, The Boy has occasionally had a "food day" at school. I can't even remember when the first food day was held. 8th grade? Freshman year? Sophomore, maybe.  What I do recall is that The Boy told me about food day around 9:00 p.m. the night before.

 In a sheer panic to come up with something that would give me cool mom points, I scoured the kitchen pantry to find something he would like.  I happened to have a few chicken breast cooked (we prep them and they make a quick lunch), we always Ranch Dressing, shredded cheese, and even cream cheese on hand. By accident we had a bottle of winger sauce in the fridge. So, we made Buffalo Chicken Dip.

Not only did I get cool points, The Boy must have gotten them as well. He came home and report his dip was a hit! He has continued to ask for it every time there is a food day. Unfortunately, The Boy's advanced planning did not get much better. He would always tell me about the food day the night before. My husband and I learned to adapt ourselves to his short notice. We switched to having canned chicken breast on hand and winger sauce became a staple in our pantry.

His planning may not have improved but over time we have transitioned from Mom making the dip to son making it. If he has not learned how to cook anything else, he knows how to make Buffalo Chicken Dip and ramen noodles. Sounds like a survival plan for college if you ask me!

Now that you know and understand our pattern for the past four or so years, imagine my surprise when this year, his Senior year, he starts telling me about a food visit a few days in advance.  A sign of maturity! A sign of advanced planning! It has finally started happening. Please say it is not a fleeting moment!

Tuesday of this week, The Boy and I were out shopping. Before we prepared to leave the store, I asked him if he had any needs. He blew me over when he said, "Mom, we have a food day on Friday." I did a happy dance right there in the grocery store aisle. So pleased with his advanced planning, I even gave him an opportunity to pick something new. But no, The Boy loves Buffalo Chicken Dip.

We have about 25 days left in his high school career. Today could be his last food day. Sadly, I will miss this moment next year.

The Boy's Favorite Buffalo Chicken Dip

10 ounce canned chicken breast                                                        
1 block of cream cheese
1/2 cup winger sauce
1/2 cup ranch dressing
2 cups shredded cheese

Put everything in a microwavable bowl and microwave in small increments until you can easily stir with spoon and everything is blended.