Saturday, August 30, 2008


Just thought it important to note that heavy drinking for me would be about 2 drinks a week. Compared to the handful of times I drink over a year, that would really up my intake.

It would make it cheaper than therapy and easier to find. But more beneficial, probably not.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Learning from sweetP

I need to take a page out of sweetP's book. This has been a grueling week, mentally, physically and emotionally. Some might say that I am overly sensitive (there may be some truth there), there were two migraines this week and I am a basket case about work.

So let's just start at the beginning. As I have mentioned before, there is a human in my life that is making life challenging and stressful. I have not yet figured out how to remove this human from my life and retain the rest of my life in its current form. Nothing criminal, just not part of my world. The usual excitement and anticipation for the start of the school year is missing. That makes me sad. I love the start of the school year.

My teaching partner decided it would be easier to start the school year after all. The plan that if she gets back in the swing of things life will fall back into place. So yeah on that front. But I still spent the entire week worrying about what I was forgetting and thinking of ways to make life easier for her. I was also worrying about our schedule. At the moment, I have to teach writing (ugh) and she has to teach science. We don't want to teach those topics. Part of what makes us a great team is that we each love different subjects. And being passionate about your subjects makes you a better teacher. I want to teach science, damn it! I'm good at it, I love it, I help my students love it. Teaching writing, I wouldn't know where to start. Writing is often a chore and when it isn't I am blogging. I don't think I can teach them all to blog and have it count. We find out on Tuesday what we have to/get to teach. Wish us luck.

So I am worrying and fretting and stewing and dwelling on my work life all week AND about who sweetP's teacher will be and who will be in his class. The waiting was over on Wednesday. Way back in the spring I had asked that he be placed with his best friend. They only have one more year to be at the same school and they are such good friends. It helps that they are not disruptive and it is a really good friendship. I want it as solid as possible before they head to different schools. They plan to be rock stars when they are older.

So I raced to the school to see the list (the server went down from so many people hitting the site at the same time). I looked through the first list and there he was. I looked at the teacher name. Of course it was the teacher that I had reservations about. I have heard stories that you will love this teacher or hate this teacher. All the hates are from people with sensitive children. I have a sensitive child. Nervous dread filled me for the second time this week. I read the list again, no best friend. I look at the other classes. Best friend is in another class. I am so disappointed for my sweetP.

I head off to the soccer field where sweetP will be practicing after piano lessons. And I just sit and dwell about how disappointing it is and get nervous about how his year will go. So my year is shaping up to be a stinker and now maybe his is too. So I dwell, I gripe and then I go look at the lists again. I read through the names twice. He knows two boys in his class. One from soccer (so just a few weeks) and one from kindergarten. He doesn't know either of them well. Not a single one of his buddies is in his class. He has one friend, a girl from kindergarten that lives in the neighborhood, in the whole class. His three best buddies are in another class together. Worry, fret, worry, fret.

The next morning, after a fairly sleepless night (have I mentioned lack of sleep and stress gives me migraines), sweetP gets up early and comes in to bed as Ducky is getting up. He snuggles and wiggles. He completes the wake up process. We talk. It goes something like this.

me: Are you okay that best friend is not in your class?
sweetP: It's okay, I can see him at recess.
me: Want to know who is in your class?
sweetP: Okay.

I run through the list of names. Some questions of who that kid is or a he's funny, and we get to the end of the list.

me: SweetP, I'm sorry you don't have any of your buddies in your class.
sweetP: It's okay mommy, it only takes about two days to make new friends.

So he isn't worried about who is in his class. So I can relax a little, at least for now. That night we meet the teacher. I will get to make my own impression about her beyond the rumors. I vow to go in with an open mind. Not much else I can do at this point.

Fast forward to the end of the day, Meet the Teacher night. We head to school and find the room. SweetP is kind of doing the shy guy routine. We meet the teacher. We form opinions. We finish filling out paperwork and head home. I don't get the warm, fuzzy, happy feeling that I have gotten from his last two teachers (we adored these teachers). Ducky did not get the warm, fuzzy, happy feeling. My MIL did not get the warm, fuzzy, happy feeling.

me: SweetP, do you think you will like your new teacher?
sweetP: Yeah.

Okay. Note to self, learn from sweetP, stop worrying, just believe it is all going to work out okay. So I am hopeful that his year will go okay. If not, I am going to one giant pain in the tush if he starts hating school.

Now if only I could start to feel better about my year. If it continues on the current path, I will either be drinking heavily or headed into therapy by years end. I wish could be as worry free about my year as sweetP is about his. I shudder to think of the shape I would be in if I was a worrier. I am waiting for the twitch above my left eye to return. It was a frequent visitor last spring.

Feel free to vote on the sidebar for how I should cope with my stress from this year.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Beat Goes On

Let's say that I am neck deep into day two of work. It started last Friday when I stopped by my classroom to drop off a box of stuff. Less stuff to lug on Monday. For weeks I have been getting more and more anxious about the start of the year. On Friday I got the news that my "oh so fabulous, gotta love her" teaching partner (I mean it, she is great!) would be taking a temporary leave for at least a few weeks. I don't blame her, if I were in her shoes I would be doing the same thing. But that just gave me one more thing to make me crazy.

So here I am trying to remember all the stuff that needs to be done to start the year. This is only my second year setting up an elementary classroom. And there are so many little details that need to be done. That doesn't include all the meetings that eat up time and remind us of how much there is to do.

Our class has gained three new students and lost one. If there is one constant in my life it is change. And I don't like change. So I am doing the best I can, but it seems like there are interruptions every few minutes. Then I get distracted and lose stuff and waste time trying to find it again. Then I have to prioritize the stuff I have to get done with the stuff that I want to get done. Today I did some of both. I emptied the file drawer that was filled with math stuff from several former teachers. Why people don't empty their own stuff I don't know. I figured since I didn't look in there once last year, it was all headed for the recycle. But there were overheads filed in there so I had to sort those into the trash.

I have had an offer from a former classroom parent to come in and help me get stuff done. I called her today and thanked her for her lovely offer and said, "Does Thursday work for you?" So I am hoping she will call me back and say yes, see you then.

So far I am 1 and 1 for headaches. I came home with one yesterday, but not today. Today I went to see the doctor and we decided it was time to see the headache specialist. And I got a tetanus shot, so my arm hurts. In the meantime, if I am going to survive this week I need to go to bed about 9 every night. I don't like to go to bed that early, but the alternative is more headaches.

The mega-marathon-decathalon has started and won't stop until mid June. So I will do what I used to do in PE as a kid when we had to run laps. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, eventually you get there.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Screeching into the School Year

One week from today I will be back at work. I got the dreaded letter two weeks ago. It outlines the many ways that I am going to be frustrated this year. I am spending my last week desperately trying to knock items off my to do list.

Today I visited my grandfathers cousin. My aunt had asked me to please help her get copies of some old family photos. Since I live an hour away and she lives thousands of miles away, I was happy to help out. She asked me over a year ago, so I thought I had better get it done. It took a major part of my day, but I am now the proud owner of 25 old photos saved as jpegs. She is a lovely woman who appreciated my boys and seemed to enjoy our visit. She even baked cookies for us! For over two hours she found pictures and told me who was in them. So as soon as I get those photos burned onto DVD and sent to my aunt, another project will be complete.

This last weekend I headed off to the coast for a girls weekend. I was able to escape the heat and the noise and interruptions and enjoy a pleasant weekend away. I only took one project with me, the favorites books. My goal, get them done before I came home. I almost made it, but I ran out of sticky tape stuff. So they are 80% complete and I hope to finish them one evening this week. As is usual for me, I managed to have a migraine the first night there. I had been fighting a headache for the previous two days and didn't realize when it morphed into a migraine until late that night. I turned into a pumpkin at midnight and only as I was laying in bed did I realize it had switched. Fortunately I never travel without the meds and I was all better by the morning. I missed 4 hours of fun girl chat, but saved the rest of the weekend. Thanks R for the super fun and relaxing weekend. I needed it more than I realized.

The last two big projects of the summer are finishing my room and organizing the garage. My room is nearly done, I just need a few more hours to get it done. The garage is started and I should be able to make some good progress in the next few days. Our goal is purge as much as we can. Some amusing things I have found while organizing: a t-shirt that I bought in 8th grade (about 22 years ago), a pair of spandex shorts that Ducky had when I met him 18 years ago (trashed never to be seen again), utility bills from 12 years ago (shredded and recycled), a pair of purple bridesmaid shoes without the matching dress (saved for the daughter I don't have) and a hose to a vacuum we got rid of quite a while ago. Who knows what other treasures I will unearth.

So I hope as I head to bed on Sunday night I will be able to feel as if my summer was well spent. Because I feel like I need a few more weeks.

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Moment with a Boy

Yesterday morning Ducky took the boys to Home Depot. We needed some lava rock for a dry well Ducky had dug in the backyard for our ongoing drainage issues. SweetE will periodically begin telling a story. They go something like this. (Not one of his real stories, but a close approximation)

"Last year when I was a baby I had a bike and it was blue and I rode it all the time and it went really fastly so that I had to drag my feet to stop and then I got in trouble for going in the street because cars go out there and that's not safe and and and I could get a boo boo and then I would need a boo boo strip and I would want the camo ones cause they are really cool, really cool but they get wet when I wash my hands and then I don't like them I really like the inbisible ones cause they don't get wet, do I have a inbisible one on now, cause I have a boo boo right here see see and that's weird, weird, weird are we going to ride the tractors, last year sweetP was watching Drake and Josh and they don't make good decisions and that's not nice and I found a penny and put it in my pocket, did you put it in my wallet, can I have a tookie the chocolate kind...

Notice the lack of periods in those sentences. He will go on and on like this speaking like hummingbird wings flap. Just a stream of not quite 4 year old consciousness. So as he is giving one of his rapid fire stories a man walks up to Ducky and says..

(like he is hyperventilating) "I feel like I need to breathe for him."

And you do and it makes you all tense because he doesn't stop and breathe or let you process any of what he is saying or breathe. I think it is hilarious that someone else noticed and had to comment.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Projects and Summer Vacation

I have come to the realization that I will run out of summer long before I run out of projects. I am also still keeping my New Year's Resolution in mind. I think my Campfire girl oath is still running through my head, "I will finish what I begin."

Ducky took the boys camping Saturday night and I got the rare luxury of having the house all to myself. I had 19 hours to call my own and see what I could get done. My goal, get my room clean and organized. I want to actually use my room. I want to stop referring to it as the pit of despair.

I remained incredibly focused for me. I unearthed the most interesting things. I found utility bills from 12 years ago, 12 years! I found notes from students telling me how awesome I am. Those made me feel better. I found letters from my grandparents. The ones from my grandma made me cry. I miss her, she was my most favorite person in the world. I found a letter from my dad that was touching.

My shredder was used so much it overheated and shut itself off. I recycled and purged and cleaned and organized. I worked for nearly eight hours. And then I went to bed.

Just as I was falling asleep, I heard the possessed toy. So at one in the morning, I set out to find it. I searched the boys room, I searched the guest room, I searched the family room. I found it in the dining room on its side. I set it upright and assumed that I had solved the problem. Except at 5:56, Spiderman was webslinging again. And there was too much light in the room and I got woken up just enough that I couldn't go back to sleep. Not that I didn't try, this was my day to sleep in, damn it. Now I had the very real fear that I would be struck by a migraine and my Sunday would be ruined. I didn't, it waited until Monday.

I gave up, ate breakfast and got two more hours of work in. I can see the end. About three more hours and it should be done. I will do the happy dance and start doing projects in there. There is a chair so Ducky or the boys can come hang out with me. Or I can escape and read. And I will get to cross one more thing off my to do list.