Saturday, May 31, 2008

Someone who did not want to work today

Conversation with a waitress:

Waitress: And what would you like to order?
Jaime: I'd like to have the pizza...
W: (interrupting) I'm sorry, you can't have pizza.
J: Oh. How come?
W: You can't have pizza on a weekday before 5pm.
J: Oh... (frantically looking, but noting that this is written NOWHERE on the menu) are there any other restrictions I should know about? (rapidly trying to figure out backup choice from menu)
W: You can have anything you want from the menu.
J: I don't think I can, if I can't have pizza.
W: You can have anything you want from the smaller lunch menu.
J: (holding the larger, complete menu). Then why are there larger menus even on the table?
(silence while the temperature drops a couple of degrees)
J: Okay, I'll have the cheeseburger.

In case you were wondering, it was a very tasty cheeseburger. But it was very tiny & I was still hungry afterwards.

Friday, May 30, 2008

I'm Free!!

School may have ended last week, but after today post-planning is finished as well!! After lunch, I'm free!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Letter I'd Love to Send

Dear Bathing Suit Manufacturers,

Really, is it necessary to only make bathing suit tops that only fit size B or smaller? There are lots of women in this world, and they are not all size B. In fact, in America we do not even seem to value size B, so why is that the only size worth covering?

Would it really be that hard to size bathing suits according to cup size? It would make things so much easier. Even a (small) range of cup sizes would be helpful. Then I could avoid finding really cute suits that do absolutely NOTHING up top.

Finally... underwire is meant to support things. Typically larger things. Which means that if you are nice enough to put it in, your swimsuit should actually be made to contain said things. It's just so wrong to get one's hopes up when they see underwire, only to discover that one must be tiny in order to wear it.

Thanks so much.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

How did you meet your Husband?

*At a loss for my own ideas, I'm taking a prompt from dcrmom.*

I met Husband the very first day I arrived at college. I walked right in through his bathroom and introduced myself.

That sounds kind of bold and scandalous, doesn't it? It really wasn't that way at all. Let me describe the dorm set up...

At the college I attended, students were allowed to move into the dorms up to a week before classes started. Since mainly freshmen live in the dorms, this was fairly ideal - gives parents time to get used to the idea, and students time to really figure out where everything is, get books, meet people, etc.

Another wonderful thing is that the dorms were not communal style, but rather suite style. In other words, 2 bedrooms would share a bathroom between them - so only 4 girls sharing a bathroom - i.e. toilet/shower. Each bedroom had its own vanity. Not too shabby!!

Finally, due to not growing fast enough, you had to be lucky to get on-campus housing. The college was in the beginnings of becoming a "real" school, as opposed to the commuter school it had been up to that point. Therefore, honors students & athletes got first preference, and then everyone else was thrown into a housing lottery. Furthermore, honors students (both of us) & athletes (just Husband) were all thrown into the same building.

Yes, I lived in a coed-dorm. But only by floor - and the girls had the higher floors.

So, where was I.... ?

Oh yes. Moving in. I was the last girl to move into my suite; the building opened up on a Monday, and I didn't show up until Wednesday. My parents were there for a little while, but they soon left, and I was all on my own.

It quickly became apparent that my roommate & I did not have much in common, and that was a good thing. (She's a whole other post!). My suitemates, however, seemed to be rather friendly. (And they were. We all stayed good surface friends until we found other friends.)

So, what do a bunch of giddy college freshmen girls do on their first night together? You go check out all the guys who live in the building!!

Thus began our trek - we simply went from door to door, knocking & greeting. As word got out, our group also increased in numbers - we weren't the only girls who thought this was a good idea!

And then we knocked on door 218. Inside, we found an entire group of people that I knew from orientation. I sat down to chat; the rest of the girls quickly became bored & continued down the hall.

Unfortunately, after some initial chatting, it turned out that the group in the room wasn't really doing all that much, and now I was bored as well. I explained what we had been doing, and they decided it would be fun to go with me next door.

So I barged through the bathroom (thank heavens nobody was in there!), and waltzed into the next room. There was Husband, sitting on his bed, looking more than a little surprised at the sudden party in his room.

Six weeks later, we started dating. Four years later, we married. Now, 7.5 years, 2 kids, 2 living spaces and about 10 jobs later, we're still together!

Monday, May 26, 2008

I remember

Happy Memorial Day, and Thank You.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


One of the best feelings in the world is to do all your normal Sunday stuff (church, grocery shopping, laundry), and then realize that it's the first Sunday of SUMMER BREAK, and that you don't have to do one stinkin' thing for work today. HA!

(and yes, I am still a little in denial about having to do postplanning this week. but it's without students, so still no work for today!)

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Last night was graduation. Another year finished. 55-ish more students head out into the world.

The ceremony itself was lovely - since we are a smaller school, there are all sorts of lovely personal touches. After the valedictorian & salutatorian speeches, the graduates go into the audience to distribute (pre ordered) carnations to their loved ones. I happened to receive two from 2 of my AP girls and almost started crying on the spot!

After the flowers they play a video in which each senior thanks their parents & express their love for them. Lots of laughter, tears & memories.

This year seems especially poingant to me considering that my own children will start down this path next year as Bird goes off to kindergarten. These past 5 years seem to have taken an awful long time yet I suspect that the next 13 will not be so slow. Thank heavens for journals & cameras so I can hope to remember some of the journey.

In other random news - I've managed to keep this blog going for a year now!! Happy belated blogaversary to me!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

It's Summer!! Woo Hoo!!!

Today is the last day of school!!!

Alice Cooper and the Muppets. Clearly, the Muppets can perform with anyone!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sometimes, the bright lights are too much!

Sometimes, when we go to Tar-jay the kids don't get along. (I know, it only happens to me, right?!) On this particular day, Bug was being terrificially horrendous to Bird. Since we were actually there to do some shopping (as opposed to Mommy just wandering around & pretending that window shopping is exercise), I chose to separate them instead of just leaving the store.

Next thing I knew, his end of the cart was eerily silent!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mad Libs with a Preschooler

I had the joyous opportunity to join Bird at her preschool for a Mother's Day Tea a couple of weeks ago. The kids sang songs & did some cutesy stuff, but my favorite was our placemats - transcripts of our child's conversation with the teacher. (In other words, the teacher read the lead-in, and the underlined words are from Bird.)

My Mom's name is Mommy.

My mother has brown hair and brown eyes like me.

She is 1500 years old. (Wow, I look GREAT for my age!)

My Mom is 8 feet tall. (Apparently I am also an Amazon.)

My Mom's favorite food is beans that are green. (I guess she was watching that week I was on the South Beach diet.)

I like her best to cook mac & cheese and spaghetti.

I don't like it when she cooks peppers. (Good thing I don't like them either!)

When I am nice, she kisses, but no licking. (yes, that is a common courtesy we extend at our house.)

My Mom loves me because I'm the favorite. (ummm......)

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Countdown is On!

1 day of real classes
+ 3 days of final exams
+ 1 day of graduation
+ 4 more days of post planning

= 9 work days until I'm free for summer!!!

(not that I'm counting or anything!)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Princess Birthday Cake

How the Cake was Built

To build this year's sort-of-castle cake (Last year's castle can be found here.), I used my 8x8 square pans and my 6" circles. It took 3 cake mixes - one for each square, and one for the 2 circles. I know there are lots of people out there who love to make cakes from scratch, but I am not one of them!!

Once the cakes had baked & cooled (I did this the day before), I applied a base layer of frosting. The reasons for this are twofold: 1) it smoothes everything out, and 2) it makes everything look nice & white & clean.

For example, at this corner there was a huge gap, but you can't tell, can you?!

Here, you can't even tell it was 2 layers!!

Now, this much cake is a bit heavy, so there needs to be some support in the middle of it. Keeps the top from crashing through the bottom, so to speak. I traced my circle cake pan on a thick piece of corrugated cardboard & then covered it with aluminum foil.

Once the base layers were assembled, I made a buttercream fondant. It tastes much better than real fondant, but it's not as stiff, so it has to be assembled in pieces on the cake. I don't mind - gives the castle a bit of a rugged look, but it's probably not the best if you wanted a really formal cake. One of these days I'm going to have to post about how to make the frosting!

Once the squares were covered, I put the circles on top & covered them as well.

This is the point at which I was going to add the towers made of rice krispy treats. Turns out that although they were very tasty & colorful (I combined krispys & fruity pebbles)... they can't stand on their own!

So, we have a towerless castle. They do exist!!

All that was left then was to decorate!! I made regular (pink, of course!) frosting for this part and dyed it with food coloring.

Due to a slight miscalculation on my part, I ended up with way more frosting than I should have. So I added flowers on the other sides to girly it up a bit.

Although this was fun, I'm glad her birthday is only once a year!!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Princess Tea Party

Bird's Fifth Birthday - Part II

Bird's fifth birthday party was this past weekend. This year she wanted to celebrate by having a tea party where everyone dressed up.

She chose to be Cinderella - not really a big surprise!

Once all the royal guests had arrived & run rampant for a bit, we needed to properly adorn everyone. So we made (foam) crowns from this spiffy sticker kit I found on clearance last Christmas. (Yes I was looking for May birthday stuff back in December. Bird's been planning this for a while!)

After some more running around, it was time for lunch, so everyone found a seat at the royal banquet table. Our table featured the best china one can find at garage sales.

Bird had a special pink flowered plate & bowl that didn't look like anyone else's.

The royal feast consisted of peanut butter & jelly or strawberry cream cheese & jelly sandwiches, veggies & dip, and jello cubes (made in an ice cube tray).

Once the guests had feasted to their heart's content (meaning they ate lots & lots of Jello!), we had some more running around before we took a group shot:

(I cannot believe that many children can fit on one couch!)

Next thing we knew it was time to sing Happy Birthday and eat the cake!

Overall, the party was a great success!! Bird was thrilled with the entire thing!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Today's the Day

At 8am this morning (EDT), my AP Chem class will begin taking their official AP exam.

This is a picture of them from the beginning of the year. I know it's the beginning because they're still smiling.

I kid, of course. They were still smiling yesterday.

"They" say you never forget your first. And I hope that I never do forget this group of students. This was the third year I have have the privilege of teaching this particular bunch, and my first year ever teaching AP. Although they are rather chatty, we still have managed to learn a TON about chemistry. This has not been an easy road for anyone. Over and over again, I have been impressed with the amount of work and learning and critical thinking produced by these students.

This morning, I pray their thinking remains focused and their minds remain clear, that they may fully complete the task set before them and finish the race strongly.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Flower Cupcakes

Alternative Title: Bird's 5th Birthday, Part I

It took me a while to realize that I would need to make TWO cakes for Bird's birthday festivities. She & I had discussed what sort of cake she wanted for her birthday party, and we were planning away.

I'd clearly forgotten, however, about the ritual to sugar up everyone's children at school. So when she mentioned that she wanted to bring something to school, I went with easy: cupcakes.

She picked chocolate (that's my girl!) with pink frosting. (Dyed with food coloring) I originally saw the flower idea at a party my friend Cindy threw for her daughter, and couldn't wait to use it!

And in an unrelated note... I am amazed at the difference when one does not use the camera flash!

As luck would have it, she had school on her actual birthday, and I was able to go there & ahve lunch with her. Afterwards, these went over very well with her classmates. Well, except for the kid who doesn't like much of anything, but he doesn't count.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

I have had a WEEKEND!! and will get to that in the next couple of posts, but the meantime I wanted to wish all mothers out there a Happy Mother's Day.

My own mother is very fond of email forwards. Thankfully, she deletes chain letters and the like, but on a fairly regular basis I will receive a collection of pretty pictures and poetic words. This holiday was no exception. Likely you've already heard most of the words, but this particular part just hit me right in the heart. I think it's because the scrapbooker mommy in me LOVES the picture.

Somebody said the hardest part of being a mother was labor & delivery.
That Somebody never watched her "baby" get on the bus for kindergarten... or on a plane headed for military bootcamp.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Dear Bird,

You earned your nickname before you were born because of the way you fluttered around inside of me. Even then you were ready for a party when people were around - it seemed like you recognized certain voices, and would get excited whenever you heard them.

Then you came out, immediately making your presence and preferences known. (Food! Snuggle! Sleep! Now!) Even at the very beginning, you wanted to sleep with your arms out as far as you could reach them. The nurses kept swaddling you entirely, but we knew better - you stopped crying as soon as we freed those arms and then we all had a blessed hour or two of rest.

You have always been a lovebird - always happy to snuggle, always happy to take care of your friends and your toys (and eventually your brother). You have an incredibly gentle & nurturing side, as is demonstrated by the number of dolls and stuffed animals that you put to "bed" each night in your room.

You love to sing and dance. You love to draw and write. You love dressing up, and will happily wear a dress (of any kind) before any other type of clothing. You are always up for a trip to Sea World.

Today you are Five, my sweet Bird. Happy Birthday! I love you very much.


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

In Case You Were Wondering, She's an Ernie

The other night I peeked into Bird's room, only to find this:

After taking plenty of pictures, I went to ask Husband what in the world she was pretending. This sort of thing is not unusual, but this time I had no idea as to what could be the inspiration behind all this.

Turns out, she was pretending she had a footboard on her bed, just like Bert & Ernie do.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Whatever Runs your Engine!!

This past weekend our local police department/firehouse held an Open House. I took the kids, and we spent a few hours looking at the exhibits (i.e. filling our bags with free plastic stuff), eating, watching canine demonstration, and jumping in the bounce house. The last thing we did was wander over to the firehouse side where they had little trucks for the kids to play in.

It took Bug a little while to realize the thing had pedals!!

Friday, May 2, 2008


at an Egyptian exhibit

Me: Bird, do you want to go see the mummies over there?
Bird: Those aren't mummies!! Those are daddies.

getting home with Daddy after a pizza run
Daddy, can we please ride our bikes just for a little bit? Only two hours?!

After Bird and Bug stepped out of the car in the parking lot of a local park, Bug points to a dead squirrel obviously flattened by a car.
Bug: What that?
Husband: A dead squirrel.
Bug: What happened?
Bird: Don't worry, Bug. He died of old age.

via Bird, as we all rode in the car to go get some dinner:
Bird: "Bug, let's play hide & seek!"
Bug: "Okay!"
Bird then proceeds to cover her eyes with her hands & count.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Hide and Seek

Hmmm.... where could Bug be hiding??