Friday, February 29, 2008


My headache is mostly gone. I am now in headache hangover time. This one was a doozy. But my boys were highly cooperative all day and I hardly got off the couch.

The end of the trimester is looming with dark ugly clouds of unfinished work. So I will be taking a little blog-o-break to get caught up on work and grading. I had a huge science project due today and it must be graded by next Friday. And I had planned to go in to pick it up today so I could start tonight. But, the way I felt, it was better that I stayed off the roads.

Next week has all the signs of being a big overwhelming pain in the tush. Mandatory indoor soccer parent meeting, book group, dentist, behavior meeting, end of trimester, soccer, swimming, life in general. The following week we have conferences which are a guaranteed migraine.

So I am off to pick up the shattered pieces of my life and move on. One day at a time or one minute at a time, whatever it takes.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Three Things I Am Thankful For

I am tired and have a headache, so for a quick, easy and upbeat post. I am being thankful.

1. That the smell of urine is gone. Thank you ChemDry professionals. I may be poorer, but my nose is happier. The boys are back in their beds tonight.

2. That I have an amazing teaching partner who is on exactly the same wavelength as I am. There is a reason we want to work together until we retire. Far, far in the future.

3. That I am told on a regular basis how wonderful I am by the three (or four) boys/men in my life. The furry one looks up at me with the big brown eyes and sends the message telepathically. The other three use words and hugs. What more can a girl ask for?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Feelin' the Love

I have been feeling the love from my bloggies, as I affectionately refer to my blog buddies. Lots of helpful, kind, hang in there comments. Amusing stories from all over. It is a wonderful little community that I have fallen in to.

Some of you have been kind enough to bestow awards on me. And I am ever so thankful. As I am very bad about following blogging rules about passing things on, I have made my own rules for this too.

Laurie, RC, Ann and Kaycie have all bestowed the E for Excellent award on me.

And I shall pass this on to any blog which I read regularly and you know who you are because I try to comment regularly. If your blogs weren't excellent, I wouldn't read them. So thank you for the glimpses into your world. It reminds me that my life has a normal amount of craziness attached to it.

Laurie and Kaycie have also bestowed the Best Blogging Buddy award. Why thank you again. It could only be better if it had puppies on it instead. Best Buddy status is always appreciated.

I am awarding this to all of my bloggies who regularly leave me comments. It is good to feel loved and on a blog, leaving comments does just that.

So feel free to snag an award, you know you deserve one.

ps. We gave up and called in the pros and we think and hope that the air will be fresh and clean. And that one very cute boy has learned his lesson.

Monday, February 25, 2008

What to Say?

I am not sure how short girls always seem to end up with tall guys. But we seem to.

I leaned in to hug Ducky the other night. Since he towers over me he gets a great view of the top of my head. And decided to inform me about the quantity of "shockingly bright highlights," grey hairs, that are beginning to populate my head. I have been complaining about this for a while. There is no longer a way to part my hair that doesn't show some shining example of my aging process.

He was actually counting how many he could see. Out loud. There are times when I wish I was blond. No one will know when he starts going grey or white. I think it is time to call on my hair dresser and get some new highlights put in. They make the natural ones less obvious.

So not only am I feeling old these days, but apparently I am looking the part too.

Updates on other life stuff.
The urine smell is still there. We added vinegar and scrubbed and have let it dry and I have vacuumed. Tonight I rinsed it out. We'll see.

Velcro went to the vet and has an allergy hot spot that is out of control with a little yeast infection. He came home with shampoo, pills and a food additive. I came home $130 poorer. But it seems to be working. We haven't tried the shampoo yet, I was too busy dealing with urine.

I am still totally overwhelmed by work. And I'm sick of people dissing teachers. I would really like to see them come in and try my job and last a month. And I have been fighting off a bug for a week and I don't seem to be winning. And I think allergy season is about to kick off. Yippee! Is it June yet?

In the middle of this post the electricity went off. SweetP finished his homework by lantern light. Then we went to Costco for supplies and dinner.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Bionic Nose

There are odor issues. And I have a very sensitive nose, a bionic nose. So for the second night the boys are sleeping in the guest room and I am drying the carpet again. And the odor of urine is still overpowering. We had the window open all day.

I need help. I need your very best urine odor banishing tips. As all my attempts seem to be making it worse.

Here is what I have done so far.
1. Shampoo carpet with pet formula shampoo.
2. Squirt "Kids and Pets" stuff on carpet (we are out of Nature's Miracle), and let it dry overnight.
3. Look in book Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary things and learn that Borax might help.
4. Get carpet wet again, sprinkle borax on it and scrub it in.
5. Sprinkle baking soda on for good measure.

Short of ripping up the carpet and painting the subfloor I am running out of ideas. And I really don't want to have to do that.

So help me. Please.

Friday, February 22, 2008


When Ducky and I signed up for parenting there were many conversations that we never anticipated. Many phrases we never thought we would utter. Many experiences that never crossed our minds.

And then the children came. And life changed in the expected ways and in so many more unexpected ways.

Today I had a conversation with my children. About a topic that I had assumed unnecessary.

The topic? Who pee-peed in the closet.

For the last few days, Ducky and I have noticed it smelled a bit like urine near the boys closet. Worse when you opened the door. But being the busy people we are, we kind of put off investigating. And it was just a faint smell. Until last night. It was overpowering. But it was bedtime and with sweetE having a fever we just wanted them to get some rest.

So today, on my day off, I investigated. I took the closet doors off. I moved the drawer system we had in there. I slid the clothes off to the side and I put my nose down to investigate the problem. Was it in the closet or just outside? Was it something that had been thrown in the back of the closet or did someone actually pee-pee in the closet.

Let me first say that my nose is a touch congested. And my nose touched down and the carpet was damp. And my nose touched it. Ewwww! Curse under breath. Ugh. I head off to get my phone to share my indignation with my Ducky. Indignation does love company. And get some paper towels to see how bad the problem is.

We discuss who it could have been. We discuss the possibility of sleep walking. We are shocked that our boys would do this. Our good boys. Our cute boys. Our genes.

Once off the phone, I bring the sweetE up to the bedroom and point to the paper towels on the floor.

me: Do you know why those are there?
sweetE: No.
me: Somebody went pee-pee in the closet. Did you pee-pee in the closet?
sweetE: No.
me: Did you pee-pee in there last night?
sweetE: No.
me: Did you pee-pee in there this morning?
sweetE: No.
me: Where does pee-pee go?
sweetE: In the toilet.
me: Did you pee-pee in the closet?
sweetE: NO.
me: Do you know who did?
sweetE: No.

All right then. Back on the phone with Ducky. "He says he didn't do it. I don't think he did. Do you think sweetP would do it? No, me too. We know it wasn't you, me or Velcro." (It would be hard for Velcro to pee in that spot. And he rarely goes in the boys room.)

I then realize that sweetP's pajamas are right next to the spot and that sweetE's overalls are right there too. The overall's are damp on the legs. Dang, another load of laundry.

Fast forward to after school.

On the walk home, I let sweetP know that we need to have a chat. I don't tell him about what. Once we get home, I have him come upstairs with me. Into the bedroom, over by the closet.

me: Why do you think there are paper towels on the floor?
sweetP: Because there is pee-pee.
me: Why is there pee-pee?
sweetP: Somebody peed there.
me: Did you pee there?
sweetP: (long pause) No.
me: (At this point I know that he is lying. He is my clone, I can read him like a picture book.) Then who peed there?
sweetP: (long pause then funny sound effect) something, something take back
me: What?
sweetP: I want to take it back?
me: Take what back? Did you pee in the closet?
sweetP: (very quietly) Yes.
me: Why did you pee in the closet?
sweetP: My pants were stuck and I had to go really bad.
me: How many times have a peed in the closet?
sweetP: (pause) Once.
me: Once? or more than that?
sweetP: Two times.
Etcetera, etcetera.

Mystery solved. Expectations shared. Consequence handed out.

And my proudest moment. After our talk he said "Do you know why I wanted to take it back?" To which I replied, "No." He told me that he wanted to take it back because he didn't want to lie. And I of course, gave him a great big hug and told him that I was proud of him for being honest. And I knew I was doing okay as a parent because he wasn't afraid to tell me the truth. Even though there would be consequences.

Tonight, Ducky took sweetE on an adventure. I made sweetP help me clean the carpet. Tomorrow, he has to help me take the sheets off the guest bed, wash them and put them back on. They are sleeping in there tonight so the carpet can dry.

Pee-pee in the closet, another one of the joys of parenting.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Moon Eyes

My sweetE and I were talking this morning. I love listening to three year olds talk. They say the funniest things. I will very sad when my children learn to say things properly. But right now, I get great stories.

Wednesday, sweetE was helping me in my "working room (a la sweetP)," and it is a work in progress and it is mine. I was moving a pile of stuff and the picture on top slipped and I had to ask sweetE to grab it before it fell.

So the next day he is recapping what happened the day before.

sweetE: Mommy, do you remember last year?

me: Last year?

sweetE: Yes, last year when I was helping you in your room, and I helped you with the picture. The picture of "Wellcrow" where he has the moon eyes.

me: Oh, yesterday when you helped me do some work in my office, yes, I remember.

sweetE: Why does "Wellcrow" have moon eyes in the picture and did I help you a lot mommy? And ...

Dialog continues for about 10 minutes nonstop with about thirty questions. I can't keep up. I was still back on moon eyes and what a great description that is for what Velcro looked like in the picture (not this picture, his eyes are little green here, but you get the idea.). And how I have a feeling that his description will stick.

Meanwhile on the sweetE front, we thought he was better, but tonight he popped a 102˚ fever. And on the Velcro front, he is going to the vet tomorrow to get his skin looked at. The new food is doing wonders for everything but the skin between his hind legs. I have the feeling he will come home in a cone. The rest of us *knock on wood* are doing okay.

SweetE woke up just fine this morning. Ducky woke up with a fever. I hope his is just as short lived.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Me & My sweetP

One of the disadvantages of having more than one child is that you don't get to spend as much time with the first one. And sweetP has been very accommodating of this. For the first two years of sweetE's life, sweetP was asking us to have another baby, a "thister." He has since gotten over that and learned that the attention pie would be doled out in ever smaller pieces.

So he and I were rather thrilled with the idea of spending time together. I miss him. I adore him because he is my first and my clone. I understand him. We connect. I can tell what he is thinking and know how to get through to him. I adore sweetE too, but because he is my baby and funny and cute and is totally his own person. I don't get him though. Maybe as he gets older, but now I haven't figured out what makes him tick.

So we head out an hour late. We have a backpack full of activities. A lunch bag filled with snacks. An ipod full of tunes. We have our sunglasses on. We are ready for adventure. My children are not accustomed to long car drives. We don't travel a lot. So about half way there, sweetP was ready to be there. Unfortunately, we still had almost two hours to go. But he hung in there. We raced trains (and won, there was no crossing involved), we pointed out silly stuff and we talked.

We arrived at my sisters and he pulled our suitcase to the door all by himself. I was not allowed to help until there were stairs. We all just hung out and sweetP got to play Viva Pinata on her Xbox. He has been wanting to play for the last year. We are wii people and they don't have it for wii.

He decided that he wanted to sleep in a tent in the hallway. Which meant that everytime I wanted to leave my room, I had to squeeze by the tent. And getting him up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, very challenging.

While eating a very chewy bagel for breakfast in the morning, a tooth that had been secure was suddenly loose and painful. And being my clone, he gets grouchy when he is in pain. But we headed off to the beach anyway. With firewood, hot dogs and a bucket and shovel. He blackened his hotdog and my sister graciously offered to cook hers to his specifications and to eat his. Even though he had dipped it in ash. We walked hand in hand on the beach and when we got too cold, headed back to the car.

Driving back to the house, he bonked his tooth with a water bottle and knocked that loose tooth out. He now has a lisp because he is missing three teeth on the bottom row. We spend the rest of our visit hanging out and just being with each other. My sister was also kind enough to step in with cash as the tooth fairy was fresh out. "Here she comes to save the day!"

Back at the ranch, sweetE is missing me terribly. He isn't feeling great and he is a mommy's boy, especially when sick. But he had fun with Ducky.

So Monday morning we head home, only 15 minutes behind schedule. The morning commute traffic has lessened. At the same Burger King that we stopped at on the way up, we stop for lunch again. We agree that this was a lot of fun, the trip not lunch. When asked if we should do it again, he thinks that is a great idea. But that some of the time it should be me and sweetE. Ahhhh. He shares that he wants to be home so he can play with his brother. I am ready to be home too, but I still have driving ahead of me. Within forty miles the temperature rises almost 30 degrees. By the time we hit home, the windows are down, and spring is in the air. And we still have all afternoon.

SweetE and Ducky are asleep on the couch waiting for us. It was good to get away and reset my brain. It was wonderful to share it with sweetP.

On a side note, right before we left for preschool today, sweetE says "Mommy my ear hurts." Thunk, stomach sinking. Poor kid. Back to back bugs. Inconsolable this afternoon. Tylenol and decongestant are our friends. Let's hope he is better in the morning.

Monday, February 18, 2008

I'm Back!

There is nothing like a weekend away to reset my perspective. We planned to visit my sister over a month ago. Then sweetE got sick as the chosen weekend approached. And he wasn't getting better. So we talked about canceling. But we did cancel back in August and I didn't want to cancel again. So we talked about just me going up there and leaving Ducky with the boys.

Then we had a simultaneous flash of inspiration! I would go with just sweetP. I have been lamenting all year that I don't get to spend enough time with him now that he is in school full day. So we had a road trip, just the two of us.

And I will tell you all about it tomorrow. Tonight I have to go to bed. I have that tickle in my throat that says I am getting sick. And I want to kick the germs out before they get comfortable.

Friday, February 15, 2008


There must be voices inside my head. I talk and I seem to be the only one listening. So am I really talking? Or is it all in my head. It has been a long day.

SweetE is still sick and he is so needy and whiny that it takes a lot out of me. And I can't get anything done. Every five minutes his world comes to an abrupt halt and I am required to restore order.

And nobody is listening to me! Not sweetE, because the sky is falling. Not sweetP because he seems to be living in another dimension. Not Ducky because he is just plain oblivious.

I don't think I should blog when I am cranky! But I am. Blogging and cranky.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Too Much Chocolate!

I cannot believe I have uttered those words. I have barely recovered from the Christmas chocolate overload and now I have been gifted more chocolate. Two boxes of chocolate, two chocolate roses, umpteen chocolate hearts. The candy bowl over floweth!

It is nice to be appreciated, but I may never regain my girlish figure. Other teachers throw it out, but that seems so wasteful. Valentines has become a huge sugar fest. I momentarily felt bad that I didn't send candy with my children on their Valentines. And then I returned to my senses and realized they didn't need to bring candy.

I forgot to even bring Valentines for my students. So over lunch I quickly filled a positive behavior slip for every one. Each slip included a compliment about that student. It was much more meaningful for them and they could turn it in to the office for the weekly drawing. And it reinforced a more important message about what today should have been about.

In the meantime, any one want some chocolate?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Head hurts, sick sweetE, plans changed, lack of sleep, cold feet (literally), projects due.

It will all look better in the morning. I hope.

This morning: Headache gone, sweetE still sick, plans still changed, up since 4, feet warm (finally), projects still due.

It looks a little better. Let's hope for more improvement.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Lost, Yummy Recipes

A while back I started a recipe database. I wanted to make sure I never misplaced the recipes that I like the most. So occasionally I would add a recipe to the database and it grew. Whenever someone asked about a particular recipe, I would print it off.

And then we had that little computer problem. And last week I went to find a recipe and it was gone. All gone.

Most of the recipes I still have on recipe cards. But a few I got out of a magazine, or off the internet or television. And I have no other copies. The worst, I don't even know what all I had. Trying to find a specific recipe on the internet is worse than finding a needle in a haystack. At least the haystack has an end.

So now I need to find the sesame dressing recipe that I had. And then I have to figure out how I tweaked it, so I can write it down and make Chinese Chicken Salad again.

Some days technology is my friend. Some days it is not. Do I start a new database?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Fun Monday - The Song

Fun Monday is hosted by Ooh, A Shiny Pen. She gave us this assignment.

Music plays a vital role in most of our lives. It is everywhere. I want to hear the ONE song that is you. The song that whenever it is heard, you smile. I am not looking for the soundtrack of your life, just that one song. Your friends hear it and think of you. You can post the video, the lyrics, the wav file. However you want to post it is great.

So after much thought and consideration. I managed to choose just one.

So I'll start with those that were in the running, but didn't make the cut. I love Crazy by Gnarls Barkley. Live is always a little out of control and I do feel like I am losing my mind at least part of the time. I also considered Bad Day by Daniel Powter. Lately, I have been a bit attitudinally challenged. And this song reminds me turn the bad days around. But, since I don't think most of my days are bad, the song is having a bad day instead.

So the song that says me is.... Upside Down by Jack Johnson. I love this song. It is my ringtone. It makes me smile. I am reminded that life is pretty great. It doesn't always take you where you plan, but look for the fun in the detour. Life is about the journey. So seize the day and have a great time doing it.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

What is a Small House?

Ducky and I have had many conversations lately about homes and space and living. These conversations have brought about the question, how much space is enough?

By many American standards I live in a small house. There is a book about small houses and many of them are over 2000 square feet. That is not a small house. My new favorite show is Small Space, Big Style. No home on it is over 1000 square feet.

Ducky and I lived in a 500 square foot apartment for four years. And we lived quite comfortably and learned to manage our space. Upon graduation we moved up to 800 square feet. Not so we could have more space, but because we were living in student housing and because we wanted a dog. And we had more space than we needed, but we got the dog. Velcro. Yeah!

When we moved to a new town, we bought the cutest little 1200 square foot house you ever did see. We loved that house. And we would have stayed in that house, except it only had one bathroom. I grew up with one bathroom and dibs on the bathroom when you got within twenty miles of home. I wanted more than one bathroom. I still love that house. And wish I could have brought the kitchen with me.

So we moved to the house we have now. We have 1750 square feet. And it still seems big. I can't imagine living in a bigger house. I might redistribute the space a bit, but I don't want more. And by American standards, we live in a small house for a family of four. But I feel like this is a large house. Plus, who wants to clean more house?

I cannot understand people who say that they need 5000 square feet per person. They exist, I've met them. They want that much space. No one needs that much space. I know many people that complain about how small their house is when it is 2500 - 3000 square feet. And I just don't get it.

Then again, I drive a Bug. With two kids. I don't supersize anything. Maybe my house feels large because it is not filled to the brim with knick knacks, collections and clutter. Been there, done that, no thanks. I guess I am not your typical American. But I love my smallish house. I'll love it more when all renovations are completed. Who knows when that will be. And when we become empty nesters, we are downsizing to less than 1000 square feet. Most likely about 800. And then we will have come full circle.

Here is a photo of sweetE's work bench. It takes up less space than those play kitchens that so many families have. And he loves it. It fits nicely in the corner.

So how big is your house? Does it seem big or small?

Friday, February 8, 2008


Spring is springing my way. Hurray!

In the last few weeks, I have noticed spring is trying to come. Even when the weather was freezing (literally), the bulbs are trying to get out of the ground. And today I noticed little flowers by the rock in the front yard. In my neighbors yard I think I saw the first of a tulip.

On the other side of the front yard more bulbs are coming up. I am so excited. Flowers, warmth, sunshine, warm rain, spring! I know those things are still really a few months out, but there is hope.

And the best flower of the day?

Today my sweetE came shuffling into the living room doing his cute, mischievous, I'm up to something walk. With his hands behind his back. He looked at me with the cutest little grin. And then he whipped out this little red flower for me. He had made it at his work bench and then came in to surprise me with it. And then he scurried right out of the room again.

He knows how to make a mom's heart melt.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Meal Planning

Planning meals is a huge chore for me. I am not excited about eating, so making food is even less interesting.

So tonight I enlisted the help of Ducky.

Me: Help me plan this weeks dinners.

Ducky: We should start eating tofu.

Me: No, it is gross.

Ducky: It's good and when did you ever eat it?

Me: High school.

Ducky: It has changed since then.

Me: I don't think so.

Ducky: We should eat more fish. (More than none.)

Me: No, I don't like fish. I don't like the smell of fish, the taste of fish, the texture of fish. If you want fish, eat a tuna sandwich.

Ducky: It is good for you.

Me: I don't care. If I have to make a meal, I at least want to sort of like it.

Ducky: But it is really good for you.

Me: Really don't care. I already don't really want to eat food. I am not making fish. You can cook it outside on the grill this summer, and eat it out there too.

I told you I was picky, opinionated and stubborn. I don't know where the boys got it from. Needless to say, fish and tofu are not on the menu this week. And paying sweetP to eat seems to be working. He ate two long green beans, two small bites of pork chop and two small bites of rice pilaf without complaint and in 15 minutes. Then ate a cheese sandwich.

Maybe someone should pay me to eat?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Particulars of Pickiness

I am quite the expert on pickiness. I was born picky. And it didn't help that I never loved my mom's cooking. I think it had something to do with the fact that it always had lard in it. I am still picky, but oh so much more adventurous than I used to be. I have a real problem with textures. I easily head into sensory overload. Sights, smells, sounds, textures. I have bionic senses.

I always hated the battles at the dinner table growing up. I would sit at the table for hours rather than eat. I would sneak food to the dog, the trash, once to my room. I wanted to avoid these battles with my own children.

Both of my boys are picky. One by nature, the other by example. SweetP has been picky from the day that solid foods were introduced. He has been consistently picky ever since. He never went through phases. He doesn't like what he doesn't like. When they say that it takes 20 or more exposures for a child to decide they like something. We are well past 200 on a wide variety of foods. And still have very few winners. He is a carnivore. There are no veggies that he likes. He will occasionally eat a banana or applesauce and that is it for fruits.

SweetE on the other hand, has grown up watching his brother and will be excited about something until it is pronounced yucky by sweetP. And then he wants nothing to do with it. He will really like a food one day and a day or two later he hates it. He is a fickle picky eater. And that is more aggravating. Our biggest challenge with him is getting him to try it. Then he usually likes it for the duration of dinner. He will eat just about any kind of fruit, so I am lucky there.

Dinner is not a fun affair at our house. We hope as the boys head into their teenage years, also known as the eat everything in sight years, they will lose a lot of the pickiness.

I have resorted to bribing sweetP to eat. We have tied his allowance to dinner. I don't believe in the clean plate club. I don't expect him to finish everything I put on his plate. Just two bites of everything. In a half hour or less. Preferably without complaining, but baby steps. Every night when we sit down to dinner I set the timer for 30 minutes. And if he eats his two bites of each item we put a sticker on the chart. So far so good, but we are only 4 days into the plan.

People have suggested that I just let him go hungry. Great plan, unless your child throws up the next morning because he didn't eat. Makes it more of a punishment for mom than child. And since I would rather go hungry than eat stuff I don't like, I know it wouldn't work anyway. He is my clone after all.

Ducky says it isn't fair. He eats anything and blames my mother for cursing us with children just like me. My aunt says not to worry, all of her kids started out picky and now are really adventurous eaters. In the meantime, dinner is still a challenge.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

It's Sickness Season

My class has been relatively healthy all year. Until now. The last couple of days the students have been dropping like flies. We had one go home just as school was starting.

It is so bad that they came in and disinfected all the desks last night.

So I am going to bed to give my immune system a fighting chance.

Monday, February 4, 2008

My SweetP's Frustration

Tonight I sat down with sweetP to do his homework with him. And it was a rather bitter battle.

He has a hard time with reading. I feel a little guilty because I didn't send him to preschool. His little brother had just been born. He wasn't potty trained. He wasn't ready. And then the next year, we didn't know what our schedules would be like and it was just easier to keep him home. I had grand plans to teach him myself. But life got busy and it never happened.

I taught him lots of other things. He has great life experiences that tie in to lots of things. He can do math really well. What can I say, I'm a math person. But he is having a hard time with reading.

He has improved leaps and bounds this year and I am really proud of him. But he is frustrated at how much he doesn't know when we are reading together. I push him to try to sound out words.

Usually he doesn't mind doing the homework, but tonight as soon as we got started he was mad. And a bit obstinate. (I don't know where he got that from.) And I feel bad. I love to read. He loves books. He wants to read them, but he just isn't there yet. I wish that he didn't have to work so hard and instead could just absorb it the way he absorbs other things.

And I know one day it will suddenly click and it will make sense. And he will turn into the super reader that I know he will be. But in the meantime it is hard to watch him work so hard and get frustrated.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Fun Monday - The Bucket List

Our host for Fun Monday this week is tiggerlane.

Our assignment: Have you heard of The Bucket List? Well, that's what I want from you! Make a list of things you want to do before you die. It must be at least five items - and you can make it as long as you desire. Photos are optional. And let's hear about some of the wackiest, most bizarre to-do's on your Bucket List!

Like I have time to come up with a dream list. I am still working on the need list. But here goes.

The Fun List
1. Leave the country for a while. It must be farther than 20 miles outside the country. Preferably outside the continent. A passport will be required. The visit will last at least a month so I can really get the feel for someplace else. Preferably English speaking as I am completely incapable of learning languages.

2. Build or completely remodel a house (that I am not living in). I had a grand plan before having children of getting my general contractors license and working on houses in the summer when I wasn't teaching. I planned to flip houses before I had ever heard of the term. It is kind of hard to do with little ones. But I think it would be a hoot if the boys took construction technology classes with me when they were older. I would love to pass on my handyman abilities to them.

3. At least get a timeshare or condo on the beach with an awesome ocean view. I love to just sit and watch the ocean. It calms me. And I would love to go at least once every month or two.

4. Do something big. Don't know what yet. Write a book. Hike a long trail. Climb a small mountain. Something big. I'll figure it out one of these days.

The Sanity List
1. Raise my two boys to be happy, responsible and productive members of society. With great marriages and cute grandbabies. And I hope they want to live near us.

2. Live debt free. I've got to get rid of those student loans. Preferably without dying to do it.

3. Live in a community where you don't need a car. I love the European model where everything you need is within walking distance. It just seems so much simpler. And easier. And more healthy.

Okay, so that is all that I can think of. But you should see my to do list. It can go on for days. Be sure to visit all those other Fun Mondayers and get inspired.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

What Was I Thinking???

Today I spent three hours of a perfectly good Saturday at work. This after spending an hour and half grading papers yesterday. And I still have about three more hours of grading to do this weekend. This after being told that I am the cause of all of one of my students problems.

And it makes me wonder why I thought teaching would be a good idea. You don't leave them or their work behind at the end of the day. You want them to do their best, BE their best. You want them to be successful and happy. You want to help them achieve success and happiness. You worry and plan and think and ponder until June. And before June even comes around you are already thinking about how next year can be even better. How you can tweak this and change that to be an even better teacher. And sometimes you smack right into a brick wall and wonder what you were thinking.

There are other jobs that are easier. Pay better. That you can leave at the end of the day. And on days like this, they look really appealing.

But, when you see that student that struggles turn the corner and start to understand. You know why you work many more hours than you are paid for. Why you sacrifice your hobbies to grade papers. Why I do what I do. Why I put up with standardized testing that sucks the creativity out of everything.

But today, all I see is the wall. And I am frustrated. I am frustrated at the red tape, the people in charge that haven't seen the inside of a classroom in years, the parents that are out of touch with reality and the fact that I can never seem to get caught up.

Today, I don't know how I will do this for years and years to come. But one day in the near future, a light bulb will come on and I will have helped flip the switch and then I will see why I do this. And it will all be better again.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Blog Cramp

I am at a complete loss for what to blog about tonight. Lots of interesting things happened this week. I just don't remember what they were.

My headache is finally gone after 48 hours. Note to self. No more caffeine. I did a little test and had caffeine twice in one week. And paid for 48 hours.

The boys are both healthy. I have not caught up on the mountain of laundry that was created from the last illness.

I am stewing over a conversation that I need to have. And don't think it will go over well.

And sweetP was asking what the names of the girl parts were. I am so not ready to have those conversations yet. Can't he just stay little and innocent a little while longer.