Monday, May 4, 2015

Update on the spelling bee

(I just realized that this didn't publish for some reason. Didn't mean to leave you hanging, Beth!!) 

It wasn't a banner day for Mac at the spelling bee. Of the 7 students who participated (one was reportedly in London), he was eliminated second by a pretty easy word. 

When the announcer said "snide", I could tell from his face that he had no idea how to spell it. But he jumped in anyway, mangled it royally, and took his elimination with his head held high. 
What I've learned about school spelling bees is that some people (like 6 of the 8 there today) take these things very seriously. They've watched Akeelah and the Bee and the National Spelling Bee on ESPN one too many times. They ask for the definition, for the word to be used in a sentence and for the word to be repeated. C'mon. The word was groundhog. You don't need the definition or a sentence. Quit stalling and spell the word. 

I am pleased to tell you the girl who appeared horrified at Mac's lax approach to spelling bee preparation won the whole thing so she and her Tiger Mom can feel vindicated in their stellar prep work. 

I am vindicated by the fact that my child's  photographic memory has never seen the word "snide" before because it's really not such a positive word. And I know he'll never forget how to spell it again. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

the school spelling bee

As I type this, I'm waiting for the finals of the school spelling bee to start. 

I was very shocked to get an invitation last week to the spelling bee to watch Mac in said finals.  

Had the invitation been for the finals of a sports contest, sure. But the spelling bee falls under "academic pursuit", and Mac usually stays away from those. 

There are 8 students in the finals. Four 6th graders, two 7th graders and two 8th graders. 

I asked him if participation in the early bees was mandatory. It was not. 

I asked if it had been a written test up until now. It has not been. 

I asked if he wanted me to help him study, make flash cards, etc. He did not. 

He told me his study plan was to just stare at as many words as he saw in a day and commit them to memory. He has a great memory, but I'm not sure it's photographic. But I checked my Tiger Mom instinct and left it alone. 

Yesterday he told me one of the 6th grade co-competitors asked if he'd been studying. He told her no, he said she looked shocked, and so he mentioned his casual approach to spelling bee training. I don't think she or her Tiger Mom are impressed. 

Mac then told me the whole reason he started with the spelling bee tryouts was to earn extra credit in Reading. He bombed a test, and knew the extra credit would boost his grade. Jimmy and I kept asking how his grade had improved so much. Now we know. 

He also told me that he knows he won't win, but the winner gets to skip an entire class. For what reason, I don't know. But that's his incentive. Skipping a class. 

If you could send out some positive energy starting at 8:15 today, that would be much appreciated. I don't care if he wins or loses this thing; I just don't want humiliation in front of an auditorium full of people.  

Here's to hoping his photographic memory is switched "on" today!

Friday, March 13, 2015

One little dog on my bad list

Tonight we went to dinner at District Taco (best carnitas!) with our dear friend Chico from Guadalajara days a very long time ago. Jimmy, Chico and Mac dropped me off at home and went on to Mac's baseball practice at the batting cage. 

I entered the apartment to find my sweet little Leo waiting for me. But instead of barking and jumping around in excitement, he was slinking around with his ears all the way down. 

I've been a parent long enough to know that the children only act that guilty when they've done something really bad. 

Like knock over the trash can and rummage through all the contents. 

Like find the zip-loc bag of biscuits Mom threw away, shred the bag open, and eat the biscuits on the floor,

on the couch, and on top of Mom's favorite orange chair. 

And if the biscuits weren't enough, finish off the bag of Doritos on the couch. 

Make sure you save something for a bedtime snack in case the biscuits wear off.
This is one mad Mama tonight. I've now swept, vacuumed the floor and the furniture, put in a load of laundry to wash the sheets and towels we drape over the couch, and ignored one very poorly behaved pup, who will not be getting his peanut butter Kong at bedtime. 

Happy Friday night from my little monster and me!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A few of my favorite things...

1.  Sonicare electric toothbrush 

always get a clean bill of health from the dentist, but I also always get a lecture about how I'm brushing away my gums. I have always brushed too hard. It seems only natural that the harder you brush, the cleaner your teeth should be. But alas, the dental experts in my life consistently tell me that is not the case. 

So now I have receding gums, I wear a night guard to help with the grinding, and I fly through toothbrushes like they're used dental floss. The bristles get all splayed out within a day or two or three, which naturally means I just have to brush that much harder. 

A couple weeks ago, I went in for my semiannual dental cleaning. The dentist and the hygienist said the single best thing I could do for my receding gums - and my teeth in general - was stop using a regular toothbrush and instead use an electric toothbrush. 

We bought our new Sonicare toothbrushes this weekend - Jimmy got one, too, because after all it's the best thing that you can do for your teeth. And we love them. We had to get past the tingling lips, but it has a timer -no more humming the ABC song 2 times. Or was it the Happy Birthday song 3 times?  Anyway it times you for 2 minutes with pauses every 30 seconds so you can change quadrants. It's a brilliant little mechanism that's making our teeth feel better than ever. 

2. Working for a private company 

A couple weeks ago, my program manager at the company I work for sent an email to presumably a bunch of us which said whoever responded first to the email would get 2 tickets to the Capitals-Rangers hockey match. 

I responded and got the tickets! 

Naturally I gave the tickets to Jimmy and Mac because I knew Mac would rather go with Jimmy than me.  They are there right now. By all accounts, they are having a great time and spending all the money we saved on the free tickets (note the new hockey jersey that Mac is wearing, although we expressly agreed he would not get a jersey at the game only 30 seconds before they got out of the car and went in to the Verizon Center).

3.  Chevrolet Equinox

We got our new car this week. It's our first new car in over 11 years. We are loving it. It smells good, has leather seats and about 4000 buttons, and it's quiet. So, so quiet. This was a long time coming so we are savoring the delicious beauty of it. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Music to a mom's ears

Our apartment building does a pet of the month. We haven't put forth Leo as a nominee because, well, it seems a little weird to nominate your own pet. 

This month's pet was announced and it's none other than Leo's puppy girlfriend, Ruby.  When I read the write-up on Facebook, I realized that Ruby's been two-timing Leo, which is no bueno. 

The only saving grace is that Leo is at least recognized as the "nice" boyfriend.  Every mom wants her son to be a nice boyfriend. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Definition of "rude awakening"

Jimmy and I spent a long, blissful weekend together in Miami. 

Warm weather, blue water, afternoons on the beach, long morning bike rides, catching up with long-time friends, great meals...


We returned at midday today. Jimmy went to work for the afternoon and I came home to my sweet puppy who was soooo excited to see me. 

The rude awakening came when I had to walk said puppy. A mere 24 hours ago, I was enjoying a 78-degree walk in South beach (that "felt like" 78 degrees). 

Today? Not so much with a 50+-degree drop in the "feels like" temp. 

When I grow up, I shall winter in Miami or somewhere similar. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015


The other day I implored you to Think Snow. You either didn't think hard enough or I didn't give you enough advance notice to think long enough because we got nothing. 

Last night through this morning we were supposed to have another storm and we got nothing again except some sleet. 

There's another storm coming tomorrow night through Monday. MONDAY!  Do you know what that means, people?  We could have a snow day or at least a snow delay. 
I don't want you to think snow. I want you to think

I want you to imagine

Think "white" and lots of it. 

I can feel a snow day coming in my future.