Richard Armitage isn’t the only Leo-Virgo Cusper in Obscuraville…

Ten years ago today,  I was confined to a bed with a pitocin drip in an attempt to jump start labor.  Dramatic from the womb, Mini Me was born at 9:21 PM on August 24, 2005…5 weeks ahead of schedule.

That *was* a Hello Kitty cake...

That *was* a Hello Kitty cake…

My little cusper has all of the fiery flair of a Leo, yet it is often tempered the by earthy practicality of a Virgo.  She constantly fills up whatever space she is in by either demanding attention outright, or with singing and dancing that is impossible to ignore…

diva erin

She has been a diva since birth, but she is also incredibly kind and compassionate.  When she was six, she ran a stand for Toys for Tots at our church festival to collect money for toy donations.  Last year she worked as a peer mediator for her fourth grade class.  Yesterday, when we asked her where she wanted to go for her birthday dinner, she picked a local favorite Mexican restaurant rather than her favorite steakhouse because she wanted to make sure that her ShowBiz brother could find something to eat.

She is my greatest challenge and a source of never ending delight.

incognito

For all that you are and all that you will be I wish you the happiest of birthdays my very own Mini Me!!

(we LOVE pink!!)

et alia: It’s Pre-Easter Saturday Armitageworld

Hot of the heels of the sleepover from hell on Thursday night, inheriting class #5 in addition to my “part time” administrative post on Friday, I found myself seriously overbooked today as well.  To document it, I decided to write down the majority of todays agenda.  The next time I start to give myself grief about not getting anything done, I’m going to take out this list…

easter snip

I could have cried when I drove up to the restaurant and saw that they aren’t open for lunch…on Saturday…What gives?!  No matter – we had an excellent meal at the 2nd option…p.s.  I still stink at chop sticks!

easter snip 2

Now, when MiniMe asks, “Mom…why are you drinking Mt. Dew KickStart?”  I can simply reply, “See above.”

The baskets are filled…strangely, not a Sephora gift card in sight (have I mentioned that my daughter is 9?)   Sephora gift cards…as if!!  I think the last of the Kick in that Mt Dew KickStart has dissipated enough that I can finally sleep – good thing.  Tomorrow starts less than 7 hours from now 🙂

See you on Easter Sunday Armitageworld!

“A book is a dream you hold in your hand.”

-Neil Gaiman

I couldn’t agree more, which is one reason that I absolutely LOVE the SpReAd the Love Children’s Book Challenge.  Books have always been a big part of my life.  I’ve been an avid reader since childhood and I chose a profession that can be decidedly bookish in nature.  My bookshelves overfloweth!  Not surprisingly, my kids also have tons of books…the one thing that I almost never refuse to purchase when asked.  Each of them has a mini library ranging from childhood favorite picture books to age appropriate (and inappropriate – hard to find age appropriate books for a nine year old who reads at the high school level – MiniMe is currently reading Divergent) books of both the fiction and non-fiction variety.

In addition to being active readers, both of my kids are emergent writers with huge imaginations.  It’s no wonder that the thought of children without access to books is heartbreaking to me.  For kids whose real lives are full of far too many, far too adult realities, a book really can be a dream.  A paperback means to escape from that reality and immerse in imagination for awhile.  The SpReAd the Love Children’s Book Challenge helps make this possible.  My donations this year are a childhood favorite and a slightly sinister selection of award winners which I dropped off this week.

Here’s a really cool bonus that I stumbled on last year…a way to get “more bang” for your donated books:

halfpintlibrary

From March 1-31, Half Price Books (which has locations in several US states) will match donations of children’s titles book for book.  The Half Pint Library Book Drive culminates in Giveaway Events held in the month of April where the books are given to schools and non-profit organizations.  It’s a great event that puts books into the hands of children who might not otherwise have them.  MiniMe had the day off of school on Monday (for some undetermined reason) so we (MiniMe, sleepover buddy and me) headed off to drop off our books.  My selections plus a few more that MiniMe and Showbiz parted with, added up to 20 books…which became 40 books when we placed them into the donation bin.  It’s a good feeling for sure!  The links will take you to more information about the drive.  If you are close to a Half Price Books location, it’s definitely worth taking a look.

I also really dig their mascot…what is that?  A bookworm?!

Unexpected Treasures

Perhaps little known fact:  Obscura LOVES a deal!   Just for the record:  I am not cheap. (yes SIL…I’m talking to you)  I am frugal, and there is a difference.  I will pay for top quality goods, but I worked in retail for years, and Obscura does not pay retail except as a last resort.  (note to self:  reading Caesar results in referring to oneself in the 3rd person repeatedly – avoid in future.)  My adoration for the fantastically frugal find often leads me to thrift shops.  This weekend, MiniMe was in the in the market for a new Columbia fleece.  Unlike her brother, she notices labels, and in our area, Columbia is a desirable logo for 4th grade outerwear.

Retail price:  $36

Retail price: $36

 

Thus, I considered it a gonga deal when I found one, basically in new condition, at a local thrift shop for the bargain price of $3.50…and it was even the right color and fit perfectly:  SCORE!!  Little did I know that the real treasure was waiting to be found.

When MiniMe stuck her hands in the pockets to perform a smart pivot turn and show me the back, she found something. Returning to front, she held out a many folded piece of white paper.  I unfolded it to find the most extraordinary document.  After a cursory glance, MiniMe wandered off to find my mother and commence negotiations on a few things she had her eye one (we affectionately call her Monty Hall since she always wants to make a deal.)  

I stuck the letter in my pocket to read later.  What at first glance was a note written between besties turned out to be one of the most moving things I’ve read in a long time…full of the effortlessly sage-like wisdom of twelve year olds.  I give you, “Bunnies Laws”:

I don't know Brensley, Anna or Siera personally

I don’t know Brensley, Anna or Sierra personally…to my great regret!

Written at the shocking hour of 3:43 am early in what I presume to be the summer vacation between 7th and 8th grade, I about died laughing at the first line on what appears to be a friendship pact between a group of peri-adolescents – a girl code.  Apart from stipulating the guidelines of relationships with the much coveted Ryan, a couple of things really stood out to me:

4.  If Ryan breaks one of our adorable hearts another person (Anna or Brensley) may go out with him to get payback 😉  (well Sierra, I guess we now know who’ll be asking who about dating Ryan post breakup!)

5.  We all must stay friends, no matter what.

6.  Stay true to yourself

8.  Stick up for each other if the person gets picked on

9.  Consult each other if you hear something from another person

The bits about Ryan are adorable in the extreme, but the sentiment in the middle is powerful.  These are girls who in 2012 were embarking on a really huge transitional phase in their lives and attempting to weather the storm together.  As much as they all seem to desire Ryan, it’s clear that their mutual friendship means more to them than Ryan or any other external source that threatens to undermine it openly or otherwise.  It’s an affirmation of sisterhood…that they are more a like than they are different, and that they should cherish their common bond above all.

Today these girls are sophomores in high school…amid constantly shifting sands.  I wondered a lot of things after I found this document.  Showbiz Son is a sophomore in high school.  I wonder if he knows these girls?  I wonder if he knows the sought after Ryan?  (I know for sure that he is NOT Ryan 😉  )  Most of all I wonder if they were able to maintain the bonds articulated in their pact…especially to “Stay true to yourself” and “stay friends, no matter what.”

As the Armitageworld is once again embroiled in the Mini-Storm of the Moment, I wonder if things would ever go down differently if we could all employ the wisdom of the Bunnies Law a little more often.