Wednesday, November 28, 2007

30 Days of Thanks - Day 28

Almost to the end!!

One of the happiest times of the day is when I get to the sitter's house. It's been a long, hard day, and I'm usually a little dazed from the frenzy of it all. The minute I step into her house, however, I usually hear MOMMY!!!!! and see a little body hurtling towards me for a hug.

It's one of the things I hope I remember forever.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

More Thanks

And so we return to once-a-week blogging!! But in my defense, we did go away for the holiday and I did want to protect my anonymity, since no family except for Husband even knows about this site.

So let's catch up on our thanks, shall we?

20. I am thankful for the should-have-been-7-hours-but-was-10-hours of driving to our first holiday destination.

21. I love watching Bird & Bug interacting even more quickly with my friend's boys - especially now that Bug is really 'big enough' to play with the bigger kids.

22. On Thanksgiving Day, I am thankful for all of the amazing blessings in my life.

23. Black Friday is lots of fun.

24. The drive home took the expected 11 hours on the road, and the kids were absolutely fantastic. There were a few restless times when things got hairy, but we all survived for the best.

25. Now that T-day is offiially behind us, Husband is free to completely break out the model trains for Christmas. Spends all day working on the table. This is good because we can't put up any other decorations until he finishes.

26. I am thankful that my house is still standing. Returned home early from work (WITH children, I might add), to discover a kitchen full of a gas/freon smell & spark sounds coming from behind the fridge. I was scared enough to actually call the fire department, though they could not find evidence of fire. (and when I felt a bit foolish they assured me that I was absolutely in the right to call them.)

27. Sigh. Today has been stressful. After a particularly rough evening with Bug, who wanted to do little else but throw toys around & antagonize his sister, he ended up going to bed early. And was asleep by 7:30.


Monday, November 19, 2007


I GIVE!!!!

While I've never thought I was the next super-blogger, this attempt at focused, daily journaling has kicked my rear!!

And, of course, my natural inclination was to then stick my head in the sand and ignore this cute lil blog for an entire week!!

So, let's see if I can catch up, shall we?

14. A faculty meeting in which something productive actually happened - the administration has finally changed our final exam schedule to a subject-based exam instead of period-based. This means one less day of finals, it's near-impossible for the students to cheat, and it's easier on the teachers to grade. Fantastic!!

15. I love, love, LOVE it when students stop by after school for help. Even if it is the day before a test. Because they have learned that I will not simply reteach the chapter, and they come with specific questions! Slowly, slowly, I will take over their brains!!!

16. For once, I am able to volunteer in Bird's classroom, during her preschool Thanksgiving Feast. This is a big deal to a little girl!! We had lots of fun - we ate, did some crafts, read stories, and I took about a zillion pictures!! And the cry of "MOMMY!!" and the subsequent hug when she first saw me was priceless.

17. Our Thanksgiving travels began with a short weekend jaunt to my parents' house. Spent the day at a local park where the kids could run off all kinds of crazy energy. I love that they are able to form a great relationship with their grandparents.

18. It's Sunday, and I do not have to do any work to prepare for the following week! Nuff said.

19. Although the students have the week off, the teachers have work days today & tomorrow. And I continued my no-working - cleaned & decorated my classroom for Christmas instead!! I will surely regret it later, but for now the mental break is far more valuable. We have not had any time off since Labor Day and I am mentally exhausted.

Whew!!! All caught up now!! :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

30 Days of Thanks - Day 13

This blogging every day thing is HARD!! But I am finding this journey of thanks uplifting, and I guess that was the point, right?

We are in the last couple of days before Thanksgiving break, so we have lots of things to wind up before Friday - all of my classes are testing at some point in the next three days. Which means that after school I have students in my room asking questions, rather than me getting lots of work done.

Today featured a student from my regular class who had been absent and 2 of my AP girls who wanted to talk their way through the chapter & their quiz before their test tomorrow. (I refuse to reteach the entire chapter again right before the test - students always have to come with specific questions.)

Anyhow, after I'd answered all their questions, we got to chatting about the difficulty of the AP class, and how much they had to work. And that was when they paid me a rather high compliment - both girls said they really appreciated how challenging the class was, but loved how I held such high standards & held them accountable to all their work. So much so that they felt very prepared for their chapter test - only a little bit of light review studying tonight & not a heavy cramming session.

Good to know that there is a slight difference in the world!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

30 Days of Thanks - Day 12

Because I am an idiot and got the days mixed up... today I am thankful for ALL of the men and women who have served in our armed forces. And for the families who loved them enough to support them in their work.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

30 Days of Thanks - Day 11

A very real prayer request.... but it still made me smile:

Requesting your prayers for ***. He had an encounter with a raccoon at the garbage dumpster Monday night.... At the hospital they informed him he would have to under go the rabbi vaccinations because of Florida's high incidence of rabbi's among raccoons.

So here's to rather colorful linings in your clouds!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

30 Days of Thanks - 8, 9 and 10!

I bet you all thought I completely forgot about this! Well, I didn't forget, but it has been Homecoming week at school, and things are just crazier than normal. (not to mention that impending holiday season! *shudder*)

This one is easy. Husband was invited out to a client dinner, so I was home alone with the kids. Fed them, bathed them, and got them into bed at a reasonable time - and they were so tired, they went straight to sleep. Yay!! Right around 8:20, Husband calls to tell me he's coming home, and I had to answer the phone in our bedroom (currently the only one that works). After we hung up, I stretched out on our bed, marveled at how much I love it.... and that was the last thing I remember.

Yes, I fell asleep at 8:30. And yes, I do feel about 90 years old now! *grin* It was heavenly. I did wake at one point to change into pajamas (not fun sleeping in jeans), but I pretty much slept until 6am.

Amazingly, that is not what this post is about. This day, I was very thankful for Husband. He came home super-caffinated (he drank LOADS of iced tea at dinner) to a house full of sleeping people. So he putzed around for a couple hours and emptied & loaded the dishwasher, folded all the laundry, and vacuumed the carpets. (We are all rather deep sleepers.) So a big THANK YOU goes out to Husband!!

Homecoming week at school ends with a big pep rally in the gym. And this year it really was a lot of fun - lots of things to watch, lots of things for students to participate in, and a really good time all around.

Afterwards, several of the basketball players were cleaning up the place. One of their tasks was to roll up the mats that protect the gym floor. As they did it, the huge metal tower that holds all the mats toppled over (nobody knows how that was even possible) and landed on one of the senior boys. Had it been anyone smaller, there would have been far more serious damage - one person alone cannot move these things. (though the basketball coach had a serious adrenaline surge & whipped it right off the student). As it is, he's on crutches, his leg hurts a lot & they're not sure what damage has been done - he's off to the hospital today.

In case that was not clear - I'm thankful that if there had to be damage, it was not too bad.

Today, I am thankful that it is Saturday, and we have NO plans. Just a nice quiet Saturday at home.

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

30 Days of Thanks - Day 7

After I put the kids to bed tonight I began cleaning up the kitchen. At one point I had to move Bird's backpack into its proper resting place so she will have it when it's time to go to school tomorrow. And, being a mom, I started rifling through it to weed through everything. Which is when I came across an adorable class picture from her fall festival last week. All the children were posed on the hay bales, surrounding the scarecrow they had made and clutching the pumpkins they'd picked from the "pumpkin patch."

I have no idea which mommy was there & captured the moment, but I am grateful that she did.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

30 Days of Thanks - Day 6

I am tired - I think the time change is catching up. Or maybe it's just the fact that it's homecoming week at school so the students are WIRED and that is starting to get to me! (Cause, silly me, I am actually still teaching. What was I thinking?!)

Today's thanks are twofold. First off, both children were bathed, jammied, storyed, in bed, and asleep at 7:30 this evening. This is unheard of. Perhaps the time change has caught up to them too!

But today's real thanks goes out to my colleagues today, who cheerfully went along with me to put this together:

Today's homecoming dress up task was to look like board game pieces. Clearly, we are Scrabble. If you were wondering what in the world that is, look here.
I only wish I could have convinced everyone to wear paper beanies!

Monday, November 5, 2007

30 Days of Thanks - Day 5

Oh my goodness it's hard to think of something to be thankful for on a Monday!! Back to work, getting up early, running ragged all day... what could possibly be wonderful about that?

Especially when you get home with your two wonderful children and the older one decides that today is a fine day for meltdown after meltdown. Either it's no more candy, no going out in the chilly weather with inappropriate attire, no second movie - it's the end of the world as we know it.

Wait, I am getting to a silver lining with this! While (semi) patiently dealing with each of Bird's issues, Bug felt the need to just quietly snuggle in my lap. This is a child who does not very often snuggle, but today he just needed a quiet Mommy fix.

And that's so often the way with more than one child, isn't it? When one is at their absolute chaotic, the other is cruising along just fine. It leaves you open to fully deal with the nuclear disasters until they switch off whose turn it is to be melting down. Though that does mean you are pretty much continally dealing with something, it's far better than dealing with both at the same time.

So, here's to being able to focus your resources!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

30 Days of Thanks - Day 4

Today I am thankful for an extra hour of sleep!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

30 Days of Thanks - Day 3

I didn't sleep well last night; very restless and floppy, so I ended up getting out of bed much sooner than I would have liked. I had the peace & quiet of the house all to myself, so I started catching up on emails, forum visits, and blog reading.

Around 7:30 Bug woke up. Wandered out into the family room where the computer is & announced "lights on!" (his Christmas lights have to be on before he can come out of his room). He brought me back to show me, and then we were able to just have some playtime together.

This is a very rare occurence because Bird is usually the early riser, so it's not often that I can have some one-on-one time with Bug. But oh, it was heavenly! First we got to snuggle a bit while he fully woke up, then we had a chat about the pictures on the fridge.

I was quickly reminded how far this child has come at expressing himself. With barely 50 words at 2.5 years old (last July), Bug was frequently frustrated at trying to communicate. Yet this morning, he picked up the words "rocket" and "spaceship". He counted all sorts of things on my shirt - and knew what they were (flowers, hearts, birds, etc.).

All this to say - I had a lovely early morning cuddle & conversation.

30 Days of Thanks - Day 2

Today I am thankful for friendships at work. I have posted before about feeling lonely at school, which was both a natural effect and my own doing. Since then, I have reached out to a few people, and I think I am starting to form a good friendship with one of the new teachers this year. In part, this is because we are in similar life stages - about the same age, married, 2 kids about the same age, teachers... you get the picture! Although our teaching styles are not similar, we have been able to glean all kinds of useful information from one another, and I'd like to think we are growing as both professionals and mothers because of it.

Furthermore, the past couple of Fridays I have gone and just talked to someone else after school. Granted, it was because I had no desire to actually work and it was too early to go home, but hey, you take what you can get. And they were GOOD conversations - not the bitter "administration is insane" type of conversations you can so easily fall into. What amazes me is how uplifting just plain old conversation can be. I think it's all too easy for moms to forget to forge and nourish their own grown-up friendships - but sometimes you just need another adult to talk to!

30 Days of Thanks - Day 1

I am afraid I am going to start off sounding cheezy, but first and foremost I am thankful to live in a place where I can freely worship God, express my opinion, and not worry about any potential retribution. I am thankful that I can teach my children about God. I am thankful that God loves me despite my incredibly long list of faults.

30 Days of Thanks

How did it get to be November already?! Time is flying, and I have no idea where anymore.

Anyhow, I've decided to do 30 Days of Thanks this month. What's that? To be honest, it's something I made up. Trying to get Husband to make a cute little graphic for me in his spare time, but until then I'll just have the title.

Lately I've been feeling very stretched, tired, and grumpy. And while a lot of that is par for the course when you are a wife, mother, and teacher, it's seemed ever so much more lately. To the point where my natural inclination is to crawl off & hide somewhere rather than actually be productive.

So, my goal this month is to find thirty things that I am truly thankful for. Theoretically, one for each day! (so yes, my next post will have to have the first three - oops!)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Agony of Holiday Photos

I have had pictures taken of the kids every Halloween. I just love the fact that they're in costumes. And since they're little, I make them "match". This year they are a renaissance princess & knight. And they are CUTE!!

So, being the responsible citizen that I am, I call the photo shop for an appointment. (Ignore the fact that it was the day before Halloween.) I swear this was the conversation:

"Thank you for calling XYZ, how can I help you today?"

"I was just wondering if you had any appointments tonight or tomorrow?"

"I'm booked solid for tonight, but tomorrow (i.e. Halloween night) I'm wide open after 4:30."

"Great! So how about tomorrow night at 6:30?"

"How about 6:40? I already have a 6:30 appointment."

I should have run right there and then but, fool that I am, we packed up the kids and Husband and made our way to the photo shop - arriving precisely at 6:40.

After quite a long time of them saying "just a couple more minutes," they were finally ready. How long, you ask? AN HOUR. Yes, it was 7:45 when they finally deigned to take our children's photos. Why didn't I just leave? Because I have a costume picture from every year except Bird's first Halloween and I am not stopping when my children still happily wear costumes.

Well, that and they did keep saying "just a couple more minutes."

Our photographer herself was lovely & knew her stuff. Problem was, at this point Bird wanted nothing more to do with the process. She was tired, and decided that a meltdown over the background color was just the right touch. After talking her down from DefCon4, we did manage to sneak a few photos in (and quite a lot of Bug hamming it up!).

They promised to have our photos loaded & ready to view in 5-10 minutes. After half an hour, I started taking my own photos in front of their backdrops. Though I was not the first to do it that night, I was the only one to get in trouble for it. Amazing, though, how quickly they got my photos loaded after that!

Finally, after lots more viewing than we needed & 2 reprints, I have my holiday memory. I may need a blood transfusion though. A steady diet of candy today, however, seems to be rectifying that!