Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Walk to Soccer Practice: A One-Act Play

Cast of characters:
Mom, a stunningly attractive early-thirties woman
Michaela, an adorable five year old and soccer player
Jenna, sweet-natured two year old sibling of Michaela dragged to soccer practice

Setting: A suburban Town Park complex of soccer fields, baseball fields, swimming pool,etc. The distance between the parking lot of the Park and the actual practice field is about one quarter of a mile, past three softball fields, a pavilion, and two small soccer fields. It is a cool and breezy day, but sunny. Late September, late afternoon.

(Mom, Michaela and Jenna exit their car in the parking lot. Michaela is holding her soccer ball. Mom gets out Michaela's water bottle, the stroller to push Jenna, a fold up chair to sit in during practice, a sweatshirt for Michaela, a sweatshirt for Jenna, a fleece for Mom, Jenna's Princess backpack filled with toys to keep her occupied during practice, Jenna's Boy Baby, and Boy Baby's bottle. Mom attempts to balance all items while keeping an eye on Michaela and Jenna in the parking lot.)
Mom: Jenna, get in the stroller so you can ride.
Jenna: No.
Mom: You want to walk?
Jenna: Yes.
(Mom, Michaela and Jenna begin walking.)
Jenna: Ohhh... it's windy.
Mom: Do you want to put on your sweatshirt?
Jenna: Yeah. And zip it.
(Mom and Jenna stop the procession to zip sweatshirt. Continue walking.)
Jenna: I don't want it zipped.
(Mom and Jenna stop walking to unzip sweatshirt. Continue walking. Michaela, who has asked Mom to carry her soccer ball and has been refused, reluctantly carries the ball but is not walking next to Mom nor really towards the practice field, instead starting to go out onto one of the softball fields.)
Mom: Why don't you try kicking the ball in front of you?
Michaela: No, I don't want to do that. Watch. I'm going to dribble it like a basketball.
(Michaela stops at edge of parking lot to attempt to dribble ball. Loses control of ball, chases after it, and returns to edge of parking lot. Dribbles ball again.)
Michaela: Mom, watch me. Watch. Mom.
Mom: I see you. Michaela, please pick up the ball and start walking. We're going to be late.
Michaela: No we won't.
(Jenna stops walking to touch a handicapped parking sign and stays for closer inspection of said sign. Continues walking. Jenna and Mom reach gravel pathway to practice fields and Michaela continues to wander out onto the grassy fields.)
Jenna: Ohhh... a puddle.
Mom: Please don't go in the puddle. Your shoes will get dirty.
(Jenna stops just short of puddle, bends down and inspects puddle. Continues walking.)
(Jenna and Michaela starting walking together on the field and discover dandelion stems with seeds on them. Both girls stop to pick. Mom continues walking.)
(Just as Mom thinks she's going to start yelling about getting to practice, Michaela presents Mom with a small handmade bouquet of dandelion stems.)
Michaela: Look, Mom, I picked these for you.
Mom: Thanks!
Michaela: Blow on them.
Mom: I don't think there's much on them to blow, honey. Let's keep walking.
(Jenna stops in field to blow dandelions, then continues walking.)
(Mom realizes this is good fodder for a blog entry, calms herself, and continues walking. Mom notices that Jenna is behind her and stops to turn around to see her. Jenna has bent down to pick up gravel and see how far she can throw it.)
Mom: Don't throw the rocks, honey. Let's get to practice.
(Mom, Michaela and Jenna continue walking in the general direction of the fields. After a few minutes, they approach a port-a-potty. Mom desperately hopes that Michaela has gone to the bathroom before leaving for practice.)
Michaela: Mom... I have to go to the bathroom.
Mom: Uhhh... okay. Go ahead in.
Jenna: I want to go with her.
Mom: No, stay out here with me.
Michaela (climbing into port-a-potty): Don't close the door!!
Jenna: I want to go in!!
(Jenna slips through open door and watches her sister pee. Michaela and Jenna exit potty. Continue walking towards field.)
Jenna: Mommy, carry me.
(Mom puts on her own sweatshirt, picks up Jenna, pushes stroller, chair, sweatshirts, backpack, baby, and baby's bottle.)
Jenna: Ohhh... you're heavy!
Mom: No, you're heavy... I'm the one carrying you. Why don't you ride in the stroller so I can push you?
Jenna: Nooo...
Mom: I will carry you for a little bit and then you have to walk.
Jenna: Otay.
(After a few minutes, the field is in sight. Mom, Jenna, Michaela and their stuff makes it to the sidelines. Michaela runs onto field to start practice. Jenna gets out Boy Baby and starts to nurture it. Mom sets up chair so she can rest and get ready for the return walk back.)
The End.

More garage sale highlights

Day two was another rousing success! I am proud to say that of the three SUV-loads of boxes I brought to my parents' house for the sale, only one item came back into my house... a really beautiful baby book that I may have overpriced. I was also very proud of my mom who donated lots of stuff to the Rescue Mission instead of keeping it as her "starter stuff" for her next garage sale. We had several funny moments on day 2...
- Two neighborhood boys, middle school aged, visited our sale about five times on Saturday. They were charming and adorable and bought several random items, like three mismatched stemware glasses, an old leather wallet of mine, a free football-shaped mug and 10 cent jewelry for their moms. The really ironic thing was that their families were also having garage sales that day, so as their poor moms were trying to get rid of stuff, these boys were buying more stuff to bring back in (I accused them at one point of buying our stuff and trying to sell it for more at their garage sale... you know, garage sale 'flippers'.) The boys loved talking to my mom and were giving her the rundown of their families and hobbies and the like and engaged in a bit of one-upmanship with each other- I went to this place on vacation, I have this many bikes, etc. until the younger one blurted out with great enthusiasm, "My dad works for the FBI!" and we all cracked up laughing.
- One shopper, a larger-sized lady who appeared to not be in the best of physical or mental health, asked to use our bathroom and said "it's an emergency!". Not wanting to be completely inhuman but a bit concerned about inviting her into my parents' house, I showed her in. She used the facilities and told my mom how beautiful the house was and how this was the second time she had to go to the bathroom this morning. My mom helpfully offered, "Maybe you're coming down with something..." to which she replied, "No... I stunk up your bathroom." You just can't make this stuff up.
- Watching people going through our stuff at the end of the day as we are literally putting the leftovers into boxes to give away was a trip. We told them to just take it for free and it was like Christmas morning. On the first day, people were on their hands and knees going through boxes of old household items like there was money in the bottom of the box. We think that it capitalized on the trademark of the serious garage-sale shopper: the work of the hunt for treasure.

Friday, September 28, 2007

In search of bargains

Today was Day One of the two day sale extravaganza that is the Davies/Libutti Garage Sale... and what a success it was!! We think we netted about $200 profit, mostly on items sold for a nickel. That's a LOT of stuff. I have been setting lots of things aside in boxes and cluttering up our garage, much to Danny's dismay, to "save" for the garage sale for the last two years or so. Dan said to me this morning before he left for work: "Well, today's the day that all that saving is finally over- today's the day it all comes to fruition!" We had a good time meeting very friendly and sweet people, some of whom told us in great detail why they needed that particular item or tried to whittle us down from 50 cents ("Will you take 25?" they ask with one eyebrow raised). We had many people who came early in the morning and then came back, which was funny. We are setting up tomorrow for Day Two and will celebrate by going out to dinner (to Michaela's favorite place, "Pizzarina Uno's") with our proceeds and hitting Build A Bear on the way out to reward M for making it through the week at school. She did really well this week... a few tears this morning at the bus stop because "I just don't like getting up and going to school in the morning... I liked kindergarten better!!" but made a quick recovery and had a good day at school. It's Friday, so that means she buys lunch for Pizza Day at school. Mommy loves Friday Pizza Days because then she doesn't have to pack a lunch the night before. Sometimes it's the little things that thrill us most.
Have a great weekend!

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Two funny things have popped out of Michaela's mouth in the last few days...
Today we were in the nursery at church and she jumped off of a slide and came off of it a bit quicker than she anticipated. Landing safely, she stood up and stated, "That scared the hell out of me!" I wasn't sure who I was more worried about hearing her comment: the elderly woman helping me in the nursery or the three other 2 year olds I was caring for who are prone to repeat what they've heard. Thankfully, no one seemed to notice and we were off the hook.
The other incident happened last week. Michaela likes to practice rhyming words in the car- I think they do lots of rhyming in class as reading-readiness exercises- so she'll tell me an ending sound and we have to rhyme it: Cat, mat, fat, hat, etc. She suggested the "it" sound and we went through the ones you'd expect: mit, hit, kit, fit, bit - and she proudly and totally without any idea what she was saying said "shit!" I coughed so she couldn't hear me laugh and told her that it's not a nice word.

In other Michaela news, she was fabulously successful in her soccer game today- she scored two goals!! She was so proud and so were we. I was so happy for her to enjoy some good times after a tough week at school. She is having trouble in the mornings, crying and saying she doesn't want to be at school all day. When she returns home, she is energetic and full of stories and in good spirits so I think she is fine while she is there. It's a HUGE adjustment... so many new changes and routines both at school and at home (all of us have had to get used to getting up and ready by 9am). Friday was the first day of the week she only cried at home and not at school and she was very proud of that. She is excited about going back to school and loves the art class she has on Monday at school. Keep your fingers crossed that tomorrow morning goes smoothly!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Almost, but not quite right

Here is the scene: Michaela has done something to Jenna to really tick her off. Both girls are standing in our kitchen, facing each other, toe to toe. My sweet, gentle, quiet, sensitive little Jenna stomps her foot, thrusts an outstretched pointer finger in Michaela's face, and screams, "You are sooo mad at me!!" Oh, Jenna... almost, but not quite right.
Thankfully, Michaela sees the humor in the whole situation and giggles.
P.S. In almost six years, I can count on one hand how many times Michaela has stomped her foot in frustration. Jenna has done it countless times in two years. Wonder what my house will be like in 13 years...


Persistence is a virtue: it is a wonderful attribute for an adult facing a tough challenge. Stick-to-it-iveness is a sign of leadership, strength, and courage. On Wednesday night, we saw in the Libutti household Jenna's level of persistence and were awed... and wanted to kill her.
Jenna woke up at 3:10am Thursday morning, most likely because I had left her window open a crack and it got a little too chilly. When she woke up, I went in to her room, closed the window, gave her an extra blanket and tried to settle her down. After a few minutes, I left. She was not happy. Then Dan went in to see her. A little while later I went back in. Then Dan went in one more time to tell her to knock it off.
Want to guess what time our persistent one finally gave up and went back to sleep?
At times it was comical; I even giggled in our bed because she got so ridiculous. She was crying, then screaming, then screeching, then would settle down and was just calling out, "Dad. (3 second pause) Dad. Daddy. (another pause) Dad..." and of course tried yelling ,"Mom-my! Mom-my!" a hundred times. At one point she was saying, "Get me out!!! Get me out!!!" and got extra points for creativity when she yelled, "Me wanna take a nap!" which is Jenna-ese for "get me out of the crib, let's sit on the couch together all comfy-cozy and you nurse me until I fall back asleep again."
She obviously woke me, Dan, and Michaela up. She even ticked off the cat and SHE started caterwauling. It was quite a scene. But we were tough and didn't rescue her and the next night she was back to sleeping through the night with no problem.
So when Jenna is all grown up, and is facing some type of obstacle in her life, I can tell her with confidence, "You know, Jen, you can stick to it and succeed... if you can scream for two and a half hours just to get out of your crib, you can push any agenda, no matter how small, forward to completion."

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tie-dyed Tigers in action

Here's an action shot of Michaela from Saturday's game. Go Tigers!

Sick of it already, Part II

So it turns out Michaela DOES have strep throat. She is home today and on antibiotics. She woke up yesterday complaining of a sore throat and "my tummy feels sorta very grumpy" which I thought was a pretty good way of describing it. She stayed home from school and we all went to the doctor in the morning and got our confirming diagnosis. Michaela is in good spirits, though, and you'd really barely know she was sick. I think she is thrilled to be able to stay home for a few days with Mommy and Jenna and we are happy to have her with us (Jenna cried after Michaela got on the bus on Monday). Jenna is also thrilled that the trip to the doctor was not for her... she usually carries on pretty well at her well baby visits and this time was much more interested in the world around her. She even started asking as we were leaving, "Where the docturrrr?" and when we showed her his office in the next room, she said,"OOhhhhh!" like you had explained the mysteries of the universe to her.
In Mommy news, I attended my very first PTA meeting yesterday and felt like I had graduated to the next level of motherhood: elementary school mom. It actually was quite interesting (found out lots of details about the bomb threat the district received on the first day of school... how fun!) and met some nice, non-annoying women. Our district is moving from a half-day to full day kindergarten program and is also re-districting all the kids among the five elementary schools so lots of changes are afoot. I did feel like I was able to use my brain for an hour and do some critical thinking- a treat for the stay at home mom.
The pictures above are completely unneccesary but adorable shots of Jenna being June Cleaver- vacuuming in heels- and Jenna playing in the hamper in our room... at 10:15pm.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sick of it already?

Early Monday morning I heard Michaela get out of bed and lay down on our couch, which she does a few times per month when she has a bad dream or has woken up for whatever reason. I went out to check on her and she said she was fine. An hour later, she came into our room and told me she had strep throat. I got up with her and she did feel warm so I gave her Tylenol and sat up with her for awhile. In the morning, she was cool; I asked her how she felt and she answered, "fine", which was a bit surprising. I asked her, "Do you want to go to school?" and the moment I said that I knew that I had phrased that wrong... rookie mistake of a mom of an elementary-aged child. Of course she answered, "No!" I told her, "Let me rephrase that...are you sick?" and she said no and went off to school yesterday. By the time Jenna hits first grade, I'll be a pro.
In Jenna news, here is a sampling of some cute things she has come out with in the last few days.
-She walked into the kitchen and announced, "Here me are!" (for "Here I am!")
-I told her I loved her yesterday and she told me, "I yove you, too." (ALMOST makes up for all the holding, nursing, and crying... almost , but not quite.)
-Jenna told me a rather long sentence yesterday and I couldn't quite catch what she was saying. I asked her to sat it again and she told me, rather exasperated, "Nevermind." Apparently it wasn't worth the effort to repeat it.
-Dan and I learned yesterday that she knows the names of all the Disney Princesses...and knows which Princess is her favorite, Michaela's favorite, and my mom's favorite. Even though she just started talking, we do think she has been taking it all in for the last year and know is coming out with it.

Michaela scored a goal in her first soccer game... Go Michaela!!! She is on the Tie-dyed Tigers and their shirts are tie-dyed red, white and blue. She had her first art class in school yesterday and that was a big hit; they started a project on a self-portrait...she told me she was "really busy" in school yesterday. I bought her supplies for her family party yesterday... we're having an Ariel from the Little Mermaid theme and Party City had some adorable stuff. Today we are off to Lee, MA to do some outlet shopping. Gotta start shopping for more pink clothes for my new niece!!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Day Two

Ahhh, the first official weekend of school! Day two was also a success... she even figured out how to buy lunch and had pizza today. I forgot to include this cute quote from the orientation day- after we left the classroom, Michaela said to me, "Ummm, I didn't see a whole lot of TOYS in the classroom..."
Last night at dinner, Jenna (who watched Michaela get on the bushhh yesterday) asked for more shhaushh (sauce)on her meatloaf. Too funny!
Tonight is our first soccer practice and tomorrow morning is game 1. Jenna got her hair cut today and looks adorable. I and my mom worked on invitations for Beth's baby shower- look at their blog for the exciting news.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Michaela's first day of first grade

Michaela's first day of school was a success! We had a feeling all would go well after attending the orientation yesterday and toatlly falling in love with her teacher. Mrs. Ferrentino is very experienced and sweet, kind, and gentle, and instantly engaged with her students. Michaela and I went in to get her desk (a real desk!) set up, bring in her 18 supplies, and generally get aquainted with the room. She has a few familiar faces in her class, including her friend John from down the street. The ironic story of the day was when we were walking down to school, Michaela said, "I hope Connor isn't in my class!" because she had not liked him in kindergarden. And whose smiling face do we see as soon as we walk into the classroom? Connor's!
After the successful orientation, her jitters were a bit calmed and we got ready in a timely fashion this morning (a miracle in itself). Dan went in late to work so he could see her get on the bus (or as Jenna calls it, "the busssh"). She climbed up the steps with confidence and we were happy to see our baby girl officially become an elementary school student!
The bus brought her back at about 3:45pm and she was not as tired as I thought she'd be and in good spirits. Though she doesn't like to share too much info, this is the basic run down: school was fine; recess was fun; gym was fine; we played outside and learned rules of how to play nicely in gym; my lunch was okay; I saw some of my friends from last year at recess; a boy spoke meanly at me when we were lined up and I told him to stop but he didn't so I told the teacher and he had to go to the back of the line.
Hooray for successful first days! In related news, Jenna starts preschool in roughly 365 days from today. Not that I'm counting.