May 27, 2012

The tassel has's official, he is a graduate!

There is SO much to tell you that I feel overwhelmed at the thought of trying to capture it all in writing, but I will try.  If not for you then so that I can remember it all later!

As you may have heard my son graduated high school on Friday.  Being the foresighted individual that I am, I took last week off in preparation for the events leading up to the big day and for the party we were hosting after.

I won't bore you with all the details of the week, as most of it had to do with cleaning, etc. and was pretty boring and this post is going to be long enough as it is.  That's your warning.  If you need to go to the bathroom, do it now.

The "exciting" stuff began on Thursday.  Thursday was a day full of events.  All of which left me in tears.

We started the morning off with the Senior Assembly.  This is when the entire school and the seniors parents come together to marvel over what fabulous children we have.  Scholarships were announced and awards were bestowed.  It sounds pretty cut and dried.  And boring.  It was, I suppose.  Because after sitting in that gym for two hours on hard chairs that had us mashed up together like sardines, I felt like I was being tortured.  You could tell from looking at the underclassmen that they were thinking they'd rather be in class, ANY class, than sitting there.

How could this reduce me to tears, you ask?  Well, let me tell you.

Once the parents were seated in the hard chairs, the underclass grade came trooping in to take their seats in the bleachers.  The noise was deafening.  And then the band played something and we all turned around to watch as the seniors paraded in wearing full graduation attire.  And as they all walked in, so happy with their young faces full of hope for the future, I began to tear up.

But somehow, I kept it together for the rest of the ceremony.  All in all, that event was a success albeit a boring one.

That night we attended the Baccalaureate Mass and that's when things got ugly.  The church was beautiful.  The Knights of Columbus were on hand, in full Knight regalia, and the bishop was there - along with all the priests to represent every parish that makes up our school.

Then the kids came in - again in full graduation gear, minus the caps.  And I teared up.  The Mass was extra long, due to the music and speeches.

When it came time for communion, I happened to catch Man-Child's eye as I walked by - and saw him smiling so wide that I could almost see his molars.  And that's when it happened.  I had a lump the size of a fist in my throat as I walked past him and his classmates.  When I made it back to my seat, I dug some tissue out of my purse - just in case, and somehow managed to hold it together.  And that's when the kids got up, each one bearing a single red rose and went to find their mothers.  They were to give the rose to their mother to give thanks to her and honor her.  As MC walked up to me, I lost it.  Completely.

The poor kid who was seated next to me seemed very uncomfortable and bewildered.  I can't imagine why. I mean, it's normal to have a weeping fit in church, right?

After the Mass, we all headed over to one of MC's best friend's house for a get together.  Seeing as how I was overly emotional and the fact that my innate shyness kicked into overdrive, we only stayed for an hour or so.

Friday, THE day, finally came.  I received an email from the college reminding me that I should register for the parent orientation.  I started the process and then completely freaked out.  I looked at Hubby and said, "I can't DO this!"  And in a truly clueless manner he replied, "What are you crying about? You don't have to go.  It's not mandatory to attend the orientation."  At which point, I burst into fresh tears shoved the laptop into his hands and went upstairs.

It took him a few minutes, but eventually he realized that I wasn't crying about the orientation (which I STILL haven't registered for) and came upstairs to give me a hug and try to make things better.  It didn't work.

Despite the fact that I still had a cake to bake and deviled eggs to create - along with a whole host of other things to do, I got in my car and took a long, tear-soaked drive.  Finally, I came to the realization that the reason I was freaking out was a combination of many things.  Yes, I'm sad that MC will be leaving, but right now are lives are filled with so much uncertainty and that, along with hormones (can you say PMS?) and the lack of control I feel is overwhelming me.  So, I dried my eyes again and turned the car toward home feeling, I thought, marginally better.

Upon arriving home, two hours later, I found Hubby in full party-prep mode so I joined in.  I made the cake.  And turned my sights toward the deviled eggs - the ones that MC had especially asked me to make.  As I was mixing the filling I wondered out loud why it looked SO white.  And why it seemed SO runny.  Hubby and MC were walking through the kitchen on their way out when Hubby looked over and said, "Isn't there supposed to be eggs in it?"  I scoffed at him and told  him I knew what I was doing and that the filling goes IN the eggs.  He looked at me and then looked at the whole, shelled eggs and said, "Are you sure?  I thought you were supposed to add the yolks?"  I looked at the eggs and thought, "Dammit!"

The boys went on their way as I began mashing the forgotten yolks into the white, runny filling.  I wish I could say that was the only incident with those damn eggs, but I can't.  Because from there it just went from bad to worse.  On the rare occasion that I actually make deviled eggs, I usually pull out the decorater-thingy so that the filling in the eggs is prettified rather than just spooning it in.

I don't know what went wrong - but by the time it was all said and done there was filling EVERYWHERE in that kitchen and on my person but not in the eggs.  It was not pretty.  There was much swearing and crying.  Finally I just grabbed a spoon and started shoving whatever filling I had left into those damn eggs.  Then I went to take a shower to wash the egg filling out of my hair.

After the great egg incident, I took it easy for the remainder of the day.  I figured there was no sense in getting involved with something else that would most likely go wrong and have me completely insane before the graduation ceremony.

We left the house extra early, because I just knew that if we didn't we would hit some sort of delay.  And I'm glad we did.  When we arrived at the venue a full hour before the ceremony, there was no parking to be had and the line to get in was around the block!  We dropped MC off so that he could get inside (they were letting the kids in to prepare), we finally found a spot to park a few blocks over and walked back to stand in line.

The ceremony was beautiful and perfect.  I only teared up once and never had the full on meltdown that I anticipated.  MC was beaming as he crossed the stage to receive his diploma.  His father and I are so proud of him and all that he has accomplished.

The procession

Although I didn't bawl I did shed a tiny tear

The tassels were turned - it's official they are graduates!

After the ceremony, we finally found him in the crush of people.  I was surprised to see him still wearing his gown.  After the ceremony, the students were to return the cap and gown before leaving.  After I squeezed his neck for a good long time and told him how proud I was, he was ready to go.  I reminded him that he still needed to return the gown and he replied, "It's okay.  Lets go."

As we were leaving several of his classmates made a comment about the gown and how he should turn it in. He responded to them all, "There's a special story about it." and kept walking.  When I questioned that, he told me he'd tell me in the car.

As we neared the car, I asked again.  And that's when any and all tears I had were from laughter.

Apparently, when they were backstage getting ready to make their procession, his friend whose name just happens to follow ours; alphabetically speaking, dropped a bobby pin that she was using to try and secure her cap.  MC, being the gentleman I taught him to be, bent over and picked it up.  And in doing so completely ripped out the seam in the back of his pants.  Luckily, he'd already put on his gown.  He said she looked at him, noticed that he had a panicked look on his face and asked what was wrong.  He said that when he told her she was laughing so hard he thought she'd be sick.

So my poor, brave boy had to go through the entire ceremony feeling the breeze, as it were.  After the ceremony, he told one of his teachers what happened and he said that he just laughed.  The next teacher, the one collecting the gowns, laughed and told him to keep the gown and return it to the school next week.

That rip actually turned out to be a blessing because we were unable to get any pictures of us together with him wearing the cap and gown prior to or immediately following the ceremony.  But once we got home, I made him put it all back on and we took a few pictures.  Then he changed his clothes and ditched us to go hang out with his friends and I went to bed, because I knew that we still had to get through Saturday and the party.

The party was a rip roaring success.  Just about everyone who loves him was there.  In fact, one family cancelled their trip to the beach just to be there.  We were so touched.  I looked around at all the faces and knew that these people love him, and us, and that they are more than friends, they are like family.  And we are so blessed to have them in our lives.

MC came away with the same knowledge.  He knows that if he were ever in need that any one of these people would be there for him in an instant.

And so now, high school is behind us and the future is in front of us.  I know that in the coming weeks, I will continue to lose it as his leaving gets closer, but for now I'm just going to stop, breathe and enjoy spending all the time with him that I can.

As for those damned deviled eggs?  I'm told they were magnificent.

May 17, 2012

Because SOME day someone, somewhere will thank me for this...maybe

One day last week, Man-Child came home from school all kinds of irritated.  Apparently, his Botany/Zoology teacher had assigned a project.  One that was due yesterday.

This had put MC in a snit because, in his mind, WHAT kind of teacher assigns a project at the very end of the school year?  AND because of the scope of the project.

Apparently, they are in the Zoology portion of the class and were studying insects (fun, I know!) so the teacher put names of various insects on slips of paper and had the kids draw the slips.

MC drew "fly."

The assignment?  To create an edible replica of a fly.

And it couldn't be sweets (i.e., I couldn't make a cake and, somehow, decorate it to look like a fly).

Personally?  Personally, I think this particular teacher just likes to eat the fruits of his students (or their parents) labor.  Because this is, at least, the second or third edible project that he's assigned this year.

Also?  Let me tell you, if you Google the terms "how to make an edible replica of a fly"  (or any variation thereof) you will NOT get any decent results.  In fact, the top two results seem to have something to do with the world's largest replica of an ancient Mayan temple made out of chocolate.

Emmmm, now I want some chocolate.....even if it did resemble a fly!

Well, since my mad, somewhat questionable, cake decorating skills were out and my awesome ability to Google anything was a bust I did what any self-respecting mother would do.  I threw up my hands in defeat and left it to MC and Hubby to figure out.

Which, really? Is only fair.  Since for the past twelve plus years I have been the driving force behind most of the projects that have graced our home.

That's right folks.  I walked away.

Apparently, so did MC.  Because THIS beauty was pretty much the sole creation of Hubby.

Please ignore the ladder and junk in the background.  This was taken in the garage by people who
are even MORE inexperienced with a camera than I am.

I have to admit, it was sheer genius on Hubby's part.  Even if I did burst into laughter upon opening the fridge to find this lurking in there.

So, here's what he did.

He made his "almost-famous" beer butt chicken (no, I do NOT know how he does it, so please don't ask for the recipe.  All I know, is that he has some special holder that the open can of beer goes into and then he impales the chicken on top of it and it comes out of the oven tasting like manna from heaven.  Seriously.) using extra spices to try and make the chicken as dark as possible.

He then took a styrofoam ball and wrapped it in tinfoil and somehow attached it to the chicken.  Using toothpicks to anchor them, he used black olives for eyes.

For the wings, he cut some white plastic mesh that he found at Michael's into the desired shape (which you can't quite see in the picture) and attached them to the chicken wings.

And viola!

There you have an edible replica of a fly.

Is it just me, or does this alien-fly look like he's saying, "C'mon, punk!  Make my day!" while grinning maniacally?

(You're welcome to whomever may need an edible replica of a fly!)

Which was apparently VERY tasty, as nothing made its way back home.....not even the carcass.  I'm told that the teacher is generous enough to share with the class, at least.

Here's hoping Hubby gets an "A" on this.....if not for presentation than for pure yummy-ness.

May 15, 2012

The Merry, Merry Month of May (.....or as I like to call it The Month of Mayhem)

Look at him....

How DARE he look so happy and elated about the prospect of finishing high school and actually leaving his mother home!*

After all I we have done for him he should be in TEARS at the thought of leaving me us.  He has not an ounce of empathy I tell you; not ONE ounce.

As THE day draws ever closer I find myself in a fog.  So much to do; so little time.

Early, early, early this morning found me frantically assembling and addressing envelopes for the announcements that should have been sent LAST week.  Finally, after dealing with that little intrusion called a J. O. B, I finished assembling, stuffing and addressing the announcements this evening.  I have charged Hubby with the mission of getting them into the United States Postal system first thing tomorrow morning.  And by "first thing" I mean as soon as they open the doors!

Still no "real" ideas for the graduation doesn't help that eight hours or more of my day is dedicated to that J. O. B.  The graduation party, which will have no other graduates attending, by the way.  My son has decreed that this shall be a party at which only family and family friends will attend.  Which means none of his friends will be here - which, although our friends will love the chance to celebrate, makes me wonder what is the point?!

Seeing as I'm in such a panic, I've decided to take next week off for preparation.  Well this, of course, brings on the panic of getting everything related to the J. O. B. done THIS week to ensure that NEXT week is smooth sailing for the bosses.  Which also ensures that the FOLLOWING week will also include mayhem from anything that spills over....and it always does.

So for the remainder of tonight?  I have decided that I need some wine and to hit the bed EXTRA early because methinks tomorrow (and the remainder of the week) is gonna be a bear.

* And, for the love of Mike, can someone PLEASE explain where these extra paragraph breaks are coming from?!  But, on the plus side, I FINALLY got my blog bling to work, I think....

May 9, 2012

Apparently, I'm easily amused.

I am not a photographer.  I've admitted this MANY times.

And since I'm not a photographer, I don't do much editing with my photos (I know, I should be ashamed; but I'm not).

But yesterday, I was working on Man-Child's graduation party invites (I know I said a few posts back that I was going to send them last weekend but.....well, it didn't happen.  No excuses.  It just didn't).  Since I had decided to send them via email (again, I KNOW.  But I really don't have the time or money to send printed ones) I needed to upload the photo to a web-site (don't ask me why; all I know is it took me forever to figure out that was the only way I'd be able to embed the picture into the body of the email) and since I already have a Google account I uploaded the picture to Picasa.

Little did I know that this would provide me lots of amusement.....and lots of lost productivity (sssh! Don't tell my boss).

So for your entertainment, in no particular order, without further ado here are some of the results.

How YOU doin......?

What his opponents saw when they met him on the field, I'm sure.

Howdy, padnah!

He could never go undercover - it's too hilarious to contemplate

Why yes, I AM half-Italian - how'd you know?
Man-Child's response upon seeing the results?  A smile, with the shake of the head and the comment, "APPARENTLY, you have too much time on your hands!"

Yes, apparently I do.  But mostly?  Mostly, I like putting mustaches on babies.....especially if he's mine!

I'm innocent, I tell you!  Innocent!
Funny, he's also forbidden me from adding these to Facebook.....I can't imagine why.

May 3, 2012

She's *almost* broken....almost; eventually she will be one of us.

As staffers, we are all veterans of the office trenches.  Between the three of us we probably have almost a century's worth of experience (I'll just let that sink in.....and then quickly add; with EMPHASIS, that I am the youngest of the three); with the majority of that experience being with this particular company.

When a new woman joined our ranks about a year ago - we were dubious of her - despite her excellent background and years of experience.

Butter wouldn't melt in this woman's mouth.  She is ALWAYS calm, collected and very, very, very slow.  Not mentally slow, mind, but in her mannerisms and speech.  Very. Precise. And. Deliberate.

And she doesn't seem to have picked up the habit (yet) of cursing at her computer.

A lovely woman but she has the tendency to drive us all a little mad.  Particularly for the no nonsense, "I don't have time for this" Yankee among us.

We've joked amongst ourselves that if the building were ever on fire she still wouldn't move any faster than that stately pace she has mastered, oh so well.

Our bosses (particularly the BIG bosses) are volatile and unpredictable with ever changing schedules - and some of hers are the worst.  There has been many a time when we schedule a load of meetings on a seemingly "clear" day only to discover that "they" have been talking behind our backs and making plans that never seem to make it onto their calendars or into our ears until after we've scheduled a full day of meetings for them.

This, of course, necessitates a flurry of re-scheduling across the board.  We, the veterans, are used to this by now - and though sometimes (often) irritating we "roll with the punches" as it were.

But this one?  She hasn't been here long enough to get understand the process.  She's not been with us long enough to have suffered as we have suffered.

Until today.

After today, I think she may be coming around.

After a grueling round of scheduling, only to re-schedule again I went to her to inform her that her boss had just declined a meeting invitation - one that he NEEDED to be in.  There she sat, with her eyeliner smudged beneath her eyes and her hair slightly mussed.  And I heard her squeak exhaustedly, "WHAT?!"

With a sympathetic smile I left her to deal with the mess.  And went directly to one of the veterans to inform her that the unflappable was slowly becoming unraveled; that she just might be turning into one of us.

To which my no nonsense Yankee friend replied "We will know that she has been completely broken when we walk up to her with the news of another re-scheduling and she replies with 'F*#k! Are you KIDDING me?''"

She's almost there....I can see the cracks.

May 2, 2012

Dear Universe: I have FAR too much on my plate as it is, thank you.

So you can stop with adding on the second helpings that I don't need.  Let me deal with the "firsts" first.  Then, I can take on all the other stuff that you are throwing at me.

Yes, Universe, I realize that you have your time lines, deadlines, and what-have-you's, but you need to realize that I am only one, little person.  I can only deal with so much at one time.  Haven't you learned yet that I don't have the patience and the fortitude to put out all these fires at once?

Yes, I realize that I AM a great multi-tasker.....but haven't you heard?  Studies have shown that when one multi-tasks, one isn't giving one's full attention to the particular task at hand.  And right now?  Well, now ALL of the tasks sitting in front of me need my FULL attention; rather than my partial attention.

So, Universe dear, I am begging you....back off for a little while.  Let me deal with these very important tasks and then I PROMISE I will give these other tasks that you are asking me to do with my full attention.  Deal?


Unfortunately, the Universe can be an out and out bitch witch and is cutting me no slack.  Between work, home and personal stuff I feel like I am drowning.

And, of course, May is looking to be even worse....what with end-of-the-school-year activities, graduation, graduation party; deciding who should and should NOT be invited, and just now realizing that those invites need to go out NOW; etc....not to mention the MAJOR work stuff going on right this rate, I figure I will be completely bonkers by the time Memorial Day Weekend/Graduation rolls around.

I've also been reminded, repeatedly (via different venues), to take in those little moments; to secure those memories into my brain and to quit just plodding through trying to make it through the day; of which I am completely and totally guilty of....and I know I need to to do that, but really?  Right now, I just don't have the time or the energy to do so....and, to be perfectly honest, some of these "moments" I really just don't want to ever remember again.

So while I am over here panicking if any of you crafty, creative, non-insane people have any ultra fabulous (i.e., cheap) ideas for a graduation party please let me know because I am quickly running out of time and have no energy or creativity leftover to even think about it.