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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

VLP Parking

I drove Leo to Kindergarten orientation the other night. As we arrived the parking lot was filling up but there were still plenty of spots, albeit a little bit of a walk to the front door. So we parked and walked in, meeting up with Frank along the way, who had parked on the other side of the school. Just then an SUV pulled up, parked in the fire lane right in front of the school and the able-bodied woman waltzed into orientation. 

"Oh, I see they have VLP parking here too," I said loudly to Frank. 

VLP = Very Lazy Person. 

It really should be VLEP, the E for "entitled." 

We have this problem at preschool too. While the rest of us moms are schlepping our kids through the wind (it's a wind tunnel in that parking lot!), snow (yes, sometimes we have snow here!), ice, heat AND lugging all their gear from the parking lot, some parents just cruise right up to the fire lane, put their hazards on and skip a few feet into school. 

Hey, this ain't no carpool school. If you wanted that you should have signed up for one. Nope. Here at our preschool, we walk 'em in. All the way from the parking lot. And there are moms here with LOTS of kids. I mean, it IS a Catholic preschool. 

But it's rarely the parents with a gaggle of kids who park in the VLP spot. No, it's often some (again able-bodied) dude who has one, maybe two kids, and blocks the stroller ramp while he's at it. I don't personally use a stroller to schlep into preschool anymore but another lady told me that she and some other stroller moms are also frustrated with the VLPs. (She liked my acronym, btw). 

This used to happen at our church in Atlanta too. (I mean, come on, church? Isn't that where you should be on your BEST behavior?) Sure, it was packed but there were spots available. Still, people would park in the fire lane. I would always walk by as they were getting out of their cars and say loudly, "I SURE hope there's not a fire!" 

If I may rant a little more, I'd like to point out that VLPs are not just at churches and schools. I take Leo to a class every week and there is a mom there who is the ultimate VLP. I've even taken a photo for evidence: 

Okay, so it's not actually a fire lane but it's not a parking spot either. She makes it difficult for anyone to drive through there to get to the rest of the parking lot. I've been giving her the cold shoulder but obviously it's not working.

Frank does not get why I'm all fired up. He says that the VLPs (okay, he doesn't use that terminology), aren't affecting me. Whether they park there or not, I still have to schlep through the parking lot.

To that I say, "It's not fair! Who do they think they are and why do they think they get special (and sometimes illegal) parking spots?" I mean, what if everybody parked in the fire lane?

Clearly, based on our recent experience at the elementary school, the VLPs are here to stay. But I'll continue to glare, loudly express my disapproval and give the cold shoulder as best I can.

Oh, and of course, pray for them.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Fredericksburg Fun

On Mother's Day weekend we went to Fredericksburg to celebrate my mom's ??th birthday. We had great weather, great food and a great location in the little house we rented. Here are some pics: 

Grandmother and Leo in front of the house. It was one block off Main Street, an easy walk to restaurants, shops and a playground. 

The coolest feature of the house was this outdoor patio, complete with a bar, tables and TV

Leo called this "Leo's restaurant" and he served us sticks and leaves.

Grandpa Ron called it the coolest thing ever and spent lots of time out here.

Grandpa Ron and Gus playing at the MarketPlatz park on Main Street. 

Leo and Gus on the tire swing at the park. 

Gus and Leo (and some other little friends) loved climbing in the trees at Hondo's, a fun restaurant with live music right behind our house.

In typical kid-vacation-form, Gus went to bed late and woke up super early. I had to get him out of the house (still in his pjs) for a walk so he didn't wake the others. Luckily there was a cute coffee shop close by.

We climbed Enchanted Rock…well, not all of us made it to the top. But Leo was our star climber, leading the way. 

Grandpa Ron, Gus, Grandmother (and me, taking the pic) decided this was high enough. 

My mom and sister and I also got in some shopping on Saturday. We all walked to a pizza place for dinner and those of us in our 30s and 40s (Frank, Kristin and me), went to a brewery later that night. Oh, and of course we had kolaches and birthday cake.

Leo and Gus say, "Grandmother should turn ?? all the time! This is fun!"

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Muffins with Mom

This morning Leo was being difficult. I won't bore you with the details so I'll just say it got to the point where I said, "Well, if you're not ready in time then we just won't go to Muffins with Mom." He was very excited about this event at his school where I was planning to go back and forth between his class and Gus' and partake in special muffins. But when I said that he said, "I wish it was Leo with cake."

The whole thing escalated when Leo tried to cut a necklace he had made for me. Furious, I called Frank for a sanity check: "Would it be too cruel if I canceled Muffins with Mom?" He said that yes, it would be too cruel and that I should take something away instead. Just as I was about to tell Leo that he had lost TV for the rest of the day, he pulls out this piece of yellow construction paper with a heart on it and says, "But I was just about to give this to you to apologize!"

Well, that was a first.

Heart melted. Punishment forgotten. All was forgiven. And we had a lovely time at Muffins with Mom. I think Leo may have even preferred it over Leo with cake.

Believe it or not, I wasn't the oldest mom in there at 82. The mom next to me was estimated at 171 by her son :)