I Finally Go Bananas

The last couple of nights, I’ve had dreams about bananas. Last night I was working on a Banana Assembly Line. When I woke up this morning, the first thing I thought was, “That is just weird,” (followed quickly by, “I am NOT looking that up in some dream interpretation book!”)

Because my dogs woke me up at 6:30 a.m., I fed them, then stumbled into the living room and logged on to Facebook. Which is when I saw that a friend had “liked” a comment from someone named Banana Girl. Well if that’s not a sign, I don’t know what is, amright Kittens?

Turns out she’s a raw, Vegan who eats 80% fruit, 10% greens and 10% nuts and weighs about 32 pounds. But when I say she eats fruit, I means she EATS FRUIT. Like a whole watermelon for breakfast. Anyway, as I was skimming her site, I saw something called the Banana Cleanse. And since I ate 40 pounds of BBQ yesterday, I thought a cleanse might be in order. So here’s the diet: Bananas. That’s it, all you eat, for a week, or 2, or FOUR. And not just a few bananas, she suggests 25. PER DAY.

Makes sense to me! So I sent JD to WalMart and had him bring me back a couple of bunches. I’m not going to lie, the first six were okay, but that 7th one about did me in. Of course it could have been the fact that I was trying to eat it while JD and Moon chowed down on more delicious smelling BBQ.

I took stock of the situation and declared myself miraculously cleansed, and helped myself to a bowl of non-raw, but still totally healthy vegetable Brunswick stew.

I still feel pretty good about the day. I somehow managed to do the 30 Day Shred exercise video. Day One, down! It’ll probably last as long as the banana diet did.

Weekends are better than weekdays

Thursday was a tiny bit better for Moon and a WHOLE BUNCH better for me, mainly because the in-laws came and, whew. It’s nice to have a Star Teacher in the family when homework is on the line. On a side note, it’s nice to have a Sicilian in the family when death is on the line, but that’s another story.

Anyway, M and PaPa showed up on Thursday and I could not have been happier. M provided 42 hours of free tutoring and 73 games of Chicken Coop, while PaPa provided the Bloody Mary’s. Moon and I were in heaven!

And it got better. Moon went to school on Friday, so I, being the best daughter-in-law in the world, took the in-laws into Atlanta for the BRIDGE NATIONALS. I had bragged about how easy it was to get there, and about the $5.00 parking across the street, only to find that traffic was backed up for several exits and the parking lot had decided to raise the rates to $20 bucks! We opted for a $10 space just a few miles away and I feel certain the up-hill walk to the bridge game was invigorating for everyone involved. Either way, we all won so it was totally worth it. Afterward, we went out for a nice, healthy lunch.

I’m referring to our MENTAL health, obviously.

We got home to an empty house. Moon had gone home with a friend and they spent the evening at the Braves game. Not only did she see their 14th win of a 14 game winning streak, she came home with a game ball! You know, the ACBL ought to really consider giving out “game” cards, amiright?

By Saturday, we were all a little worn out and over wrought. My mother-in-law made note that PaPa had fixed himself a “drink” and it was only noon.

He didn’t seem to give much weight to her opinion. In his defense, she looked like this at the time –

Basically, we drove them crazy.

AmmoGuy brought over the girls for some bonding time Saturday afternoon and we all sat around eating Chinese food and being lazy. In another word – perfection!

Sunday, we all went to church, then I came home and cleaned house, played Barbies, grabbed 10 pounds of BBQ with my friend Kathryn, took it all to the church so Moon and the students could eat, came home and ate some of the aforementioned BBQ, and now I’m on the couch swearing that tomorrow, I will REALLY, SERIOUSLY begin my diet.

So, family, bridge, overeating, diet plans and delusions – in other words, a typical weekend.

Here We Go Again

Have I mentioned that I hate school? Seriously. I dislike almost everything about it. I don’t like thinking about what Moon should wear – is it cute, is it stylish, is it too short or too tight, is it appropriate for the weather? Blah, blah, BLAH.

I hate the homework, too. Today was the first day and Moon has been working on her homework for the past three hours. Which would not be that big of a deal except that a good hour and a half was spent writing a paper on her likes and dislikes – for MATH class.

I hate to watch her stress about friends. When I was in school, I knew everybody. EV-ER-Y BODY. It helped that we all went to the same school from 1st grade through 8th and that no one new ever moved into town, but still. Poor Moon swears most of her classes contain all brand new people. I know that she’s awesome and will make friends quickly, but it’s hard to convince her of that now.

Maybe I should homeschool again. Sure I was bad at it, but at least Moon knew everyone and the teachers LOVED her. I wasn’t a great teacher but I can guaranTEE you that math class did not include papers with 5 paragraphs and a topic sentence.

Still, we’ve improved in at least ONE subject.

Moon’s hair ROCKED.

Also, she’s still super cute.

She was very nervous, so much so that she couldn’t even eat breakfast. And it was BACON.

The only thing about school that she has even mentioned in a positive light at all is homeroom. So far it contains one friend, one girl she knew from elementary school, and a boy who had a crush on her last year.

Yeah, we should definitely homeschool.

God Does

This was just one of those days. Everywhere I looked, GOD was making things happen. First of all, I read an amazing post from my friend in India. And by “amazing”, I mean MIRACULOUS! You can read it for yourself HERE. Prepare for your mind to be blown.

Then I remembered that my friend was starting a new job today. A few weeks ago, she decided to go back to work. She wasn’t thrilled because she enjoyed staying home with her child, but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. But God, being awesome, gave her a job she could work from home. Perfect!

And THEN someone posted a link on Facebook to an Ann “I see God in everything” Voskamp post, which made me cry for the second time today. Spoiler alert – it’s about a goat.

And finally, we took Moon to her Sneak-a-Peek at school. She was nervous, and I have to admit that when I saw all of the kids, all of the STRANGE kids, I was nervous too. But as we turned the first corner, her best buddy from last year came running toward her. They have home room together! Moon said that most of the butterflies left at that point. It’s great because of all the kids in the class, Moon only knew three. Having a friend by her side will go a long way in making her feel comfortable.


I’m no Ann Voskamp, but even I can see God when He shows out like today.

Bridge for kids? YES!

If you’ve spent any time around me, read this blog on a semi-regular basis, or seen my Facebook status, you know I’m crazy about bridge. It was a BIG thrill for me this weekend to see Moon and J play in their first sanctioned game. The fact that they actually won points made the whole thing even more fabulous! Still, I’m amazed at the glazed looks I get when I tell parents that they should consider teacher THEIR child. I’m sure you already know that bridge improves test scores, builds the immune system, and promotes inter-generational socialization, but here are a few more reasons why I love bridge as a parent that you might not have thought of.

5. It’s Cheap!

Moon went to Bridge Camp last year, has taken several lessons at the local club, played three times at the Junior Nationals and spent ZERO dollars. The ACBL and Atlanta Junior Bridge do a great job supporting juniors and raising funds throughout the year, so the cost to parents is next to nothing. The only thing I’ve paid for is a $15.00 Junior ACBL membership – no league fees, uniforms or equipment! Even when you do pay, it’s not much. Moon could play at any of the local clubs for somewhere between $6 to $10.00 for 3 hours of bridge.

4. You can play bridge FOREVER and continue to improve as you age.

You can’t say the same for football, baseball, tennis, hockey, volleyball, skateboarding or gymnastics. You may be able to do all those things when you’re 80, but I bet your 18 year old self could kick your butt. In bridge, your glory days are always ahead of you. How awesome to fall in love with something and not have to stop when you graduate high-school!

3. It’s MindFULL entertainment.

My favorite thing about watching Moon and J play at the tournament was seeing them do something besides play Minecraft or watch TV. They used their brains, interacted face-to-face with other kids, and had fun! The tournament goodie bag included an autograph book and as each child came to the table, the girls asked where they were from, collected signatures, and even some emails! And despite Bridge’s “nerdy” reputation, the kids were all cute, normal and not one of them wore a pocket protector.

2. It’s a career path.

While I was showing the girls around the venue, a gentlemen mentioned how great it was to see kids playing, then he told us about a 16 year old who makes $3500 a week playing bridge! Clients have been known to pay $500 – $1500 to a pro for ONE session. Making it as a bridge professional is tough, but if you dedicate yourself, there is a chance that you could make a living playing cards. Let’s put it this way, the chance of a high-school football player making it in the NFL is 0.2%. Your chances are better with cards and there’s no need for the frequent CT scans.

1. In all of the years I counseled at the local pregnancy center, I never met a bridge player!

When’s the last time you checked in at the local skating rink? I was there one Friday night not long ago and I was shocked by the kids’ behavior. Yes, your daughter COULD sit on a boy’s lap at the bridge club, but I’m pretty sure the Director would put the kibash on that pretty quickly. And there would be no coming to the club and sneaking out to meet a boy. During the Nationals, one of the kids started complaining of a headache. The Director told him if he needed to quit he could, but there would be no leaving the room until his parent came to get him. I had no qualms about leaving Moon in the room to play while I went to my own bridge game.

Oh yeah, I guess that’s ANOTHER reason bridge for kids is so great – you can continue to play and not feel guilty for leaving the kids at home!

If you’re interested, check out www.schoolbridgeleague.org or www.atlantajuniorbridge.org for more!

Bow Down, Biddies!

Moon and J? They won.

They. Won. Points.

Their very first duplicate bridge game ever, and they won. They came in 3rd in B for .31 points. Not only that, but one of the adult supervisors kept coming over to tell me how impressed he was with them. This must be how Michael Phelps mother feels.

A glimpse into our day:

Walking down the Atlanta street with their pink, bridge totes.

Moon contemplating her bid.

J bid 4 hearts, enough for game and her silly opponents doubled her which means they didn’t think she’d make it. They were wrong!

The tournament posted the scores after 5 rounds but it didn’t show whether the girls were winning points. We waited and waited for the final scores, and finally I sent the girls to the lounge for cookies and told them I’d catch up later and let them know. When I found them and told them they’d won, they insisted on seeing for themselves.

I’d wager they were the only bridge players sprinting through the lobby.

The girls scoured the leader board to find their names.

The only thing about the day that was disappointing is how the girls reacted. I really thought they’d find the day fun, and that winning would be exciting for them.

You know tweens, blase about everything, amiright Kittens?