Monday, October 17, 2011


A Wicked Good Time

Several years ago, I could easily find a copy of Wicked somewhere in my classroom.  So many of my students took a break from their Harry Potter obsession to read the books of Maguire.  Walnut was a wee one and I was reading nursery rhymes hoping that there would be a time for fiction suited for people over the age of one.

However, I got my chance to see the musical at the beginning of this month.  Several of my colleagues and I gathered together for a shot of culture and visited the Benedum to see Elphaba in action.  Luckily for us one of our friends, Marian, invited us backstage after the performance.  She has been working on shows for twenty plus years as a costume assistant to the actors. Voila...Elphaba!

HMP: Parenting Fail

We were visiting the lovely area of Lancaster County on day in the middle of July of 2011.  There is an ongoing competition between Walnut and Peanut regarding elevators.  They love to race into the elevator and punch the buttons to our destination.  The rest is history.

Bob, Walnut, Peanut and I were leaving the hotel to go to dinner.  As soon as we left the room, both boys bolted towards the elevator whilst positioning themselves in the optimal place for tending to our elevator button pressing needs.

Tiffany:  "Boys!"

Walnut:  "It's my turn to press the button!"

Peanut:  "NOOOOOO!"

Tiffany:  "Boys!"

Bob:  "Cut it out RIGHT NOW!"

Walnut:  "But it's my turn to press the button!"

Peanut:  "NOOOOOO!  MY turn!"

Tiffany:  "Boys!"


**The elevator door opened and carried four women:  two of which were wearing embroidered sweatshirts adorned with collars (you know the kind) and two younger versions of the sweatshirt wearing women.  All four women wore looks of disgust.**

Peanut waited patiently for all of three seconds.  Before I could grab him I heard,

"Move out of my way Yady!"

Peanut pushed all thirty-six pounds of himself into the elevator.

As proud as he could, Peanut smiled triumphantly.  For the Peanut had accomplished his task-first entrance into the elevator.  The four women did not smile but wore true Carvey-esque Church Lady's looks of sheer chagrin.  I then apologized with a non-commital tone.  We got on the elevator and all of us LAUGHED hysterically. 

Tiffany:  "Talk about a bunch of biddies."

We commited the event to memory and figured that we wouldn't be seeing the fearsome foursome again.

But, we were wrong.  The next morning at breakfast they were front and center in the dining area.  I smiled, waved and then laughed to myself.  Again, no affect about their faces. 

'Boy, they are miserable.


I'm not!'

We're normal parents.  We teach our children to respect their elders.  We teach our children to apologize for transgressions.  We teach our children to say "please" and "thank you". 

However, the fearsome foursome in Lancaster County can politely "suck it".

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Party Like It's 1991

Twenty years



two decades

Looking back at my high school career, I can't say that I really enjoyed my days at good ol' AAHS.  I had a love/hate relationship with high school.  I'm a learner by nature, relishing in engagement and challenge when it comes to pertinent content.  And, yes, like most high school students-I welcomed the social aspect of my teenage years.  But, in May of 1991, I accepted my diploma, tossed the mortar board and never really looked back. 

Yet, I really enjoyed my 20th high school reunion.  I connected with some of my oldest and dearest childhood friends.  We recalled silly times, crazy parent stories and laughed about stupid high school episodes wrought with drama and innocence. I have been walking down nostalgia lane since the event.  I have thought about my many experiences-good and bad-that have shaped me into the adult, almost middle aged, that I have become.  For many years, I nonchalantly tossed my memories aside but they waited for me to retrieve them.  And, for their patience I am grateful.

School Cupcakes

These were the boys' dessert after dinner on the first day of school.  I ran across the recipe in Family Fun magazine.  They loved them and I really enjoyed making them. 

HMP: Pre-K 3

At the end of August,  Peanut started Pre-K 3.  Truthfully, I was a bit nervous.  Peanut strives to be very independent and we would not consider him a rule follower.  Nonetheless, he had to start somewhere.  Peanut LOVES school.  He comes home every day with his multiple sheets of "paperwork" accompanied by several art projects.  Here's to a successful year for our little guy! 

Musings of a Six-Year Old: First Grade

As August furiously came to a close, we prepared for the beginning of first grade.  The fact that Walnut was about to enter a grade level that did not begin with a letter was beyond my imagination and belief.  However, Walnut was extraordinarily excited about going back to school.  He discerningly selected his backpack, shoes and school supplies.  Fortunately, we just traveled to the uniform retailer to pick up his garments. 

Again, we are blessed with a superb teacher, Ms. B.  Interestingly enough, I taught both of Ms. B.'s daughters and now she teaches Walnut.  Gotta love reciprocity!  Although we did not celebrate the beginning of first grade with an officially decorated gathering, Bob, Walnut, Peanut and I engaged in some first day of school activities. 

By the way, I still cried when he got on the school bus. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Deadly Puncutation!

A big thanks to S. K. M for sharing this!

I Know What You Did Last Summer: Please Touch Is Pretty Awesome

In August, we made a trip to the Philadelphia area to visit some of their most notable attractions.  One of our (mine really) must-sees was the Please Touch Museum in Fairmount Park.  As we approached Memorial Hall, we were awestruck with the regal monument to the Pennsylvanians of the Civil War. 

Peanut and Walnut enjoyed the memorial
With Bob, the history buff of the Kocanuts, we're never quite sure to what extent we will exhaust all details of a particular exhibit or display.  Nevertheless, we traveled with our friends and had a mission:  kid kind of fun.  After parking the van, prepping the boys with our usual good behavior speeches and the smatterings of "Slow down," we were ready for hours of hands-on entertainment.  But, Bob and I both stopped to gaze in wonder at
Memorial Hall
the architecture of the entire setting.  The history behind the two Pegasus statues that flank the building was extraordinary.  Again, the boys were as patient as one could expect from a six-year old and a three-year old. 

"C'mon!" followed by the patter of their feet indicated that they needed to get into the building.

The museum stationed a guide outside of the building to inform all visitors that the  facility was without electricity.  'Ugh...of all days,' I thought to myself.  Luckily, their powers-that-be decided to keep the museum open in certain areas until power was restored.  Our score?  FREE ADMISSION!  The attendant stamped our hands and we busied ourselves to the open areas.  The boys absolutely loved, loved, loved the museum.  The Please Touch Museum of Philly received a big thumbs up from the Kocanuts!
Our players in Alice in Wonderland

the amazing carousel


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