Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Perfection is Exhausting

I have always known that I am a perfectionist. In recent years, I have been able to narrow it down to selective perfectionism. I believe that if you are going to do something, do it well. I have little patience for doing things half way. So my expectations for myself have always been high. It is one thing when you have these expectations for yourself, another entirely when everyone else expects perfection from you as well.

In the preceeding months, I have been greeted with some version of "But you are the perfect _________ (friend, wife, mother, sibling, etc.)" from a significant number of friends and family members. It is like walking a tightrope with no safety net. One misstep and suddenly you fall from grace, with an audible splat. The stress from trying to live up to the expectations of so many has taken its toll. 74 migraines and counting, the year isn't over yet. I have been sick more this last year than ever. I sleep poorly.

So my motto for the coming year is just to be "good enough." It will be hard for this perfectionist to let it just be good enough. I hope to once again find health and happiness. And to the next person that even implies that I am or should be perfect, look out, you will receive an earful.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It Snuck Up On Me

Once upon a time, I would proclaim, loudly, that I only ran when chased. All of my running friends will laugh, because I always said that I just didn't understand the whole "need to run" thing.

And now, I must say, I am a runner. Okay, I said it. Laugh. Only because of how resolute I was that I could never become a runner. I still don't get the whole runner's high, but I'm sure with time that too shall come.

But on those days when I can't run, I am wishing that I could. On those nights when I am fitting in a quick run in the dark and cold, I wish I could be going farther. I never thought that I would ever be that person. I remember a picture from my childhood of me running in a kids race. I think it might be the only one I ever ran, that wasn't required by a PE class. But I was nearing the finish line and I had this big grin on my face and these long skinny legs with little yellow shorts running top speed. I am starting to feel that way now as I run. I don't feel like I have the agonized look that I so often notice on runners faces. The same one that I wore in the photo from my first race. That is not a picture I intend to purchase, even if it does memorialize my first race.

I guess life was chasing me, to get me started. And now, I have just grown accustomed to getting out there and moving. Each day I can feel myself getting stronger, faster, better. Then, there is the added bonus of looking leaner, firmer, skinnier. Even now, that it is dark and cold most days when I run, I am glad to be out there. Breathing fresh air and letting my mind wander.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Traffic Jam of the Brain

I keep thinking of things to write here, but then as soon as I sit down I can't get a single thing written. I don't know if all those thoughts are stuck in the doorway, elbowing each other to get out so much that none of them does, or they suddenly get shy the moment it is time to become a permanent record.

SweetE announced yesterday that he doesn't need to go to school because he already knows everything. He is about 10 years ahead of schedule on that one, so I may be in trouble. He does thank me on a regular basis for doing normal stuff like wash his favorite pants, so I think I'll keep him. That and he looks darn cute with bed head.

SweetP is doing science experiments in his backpack. Yesterday I got to start my day with a flattened, blackened, slimy banana that had been forgotten in his backpack for too long. I don't know why he refuses to use the trash cans at school, but all of his wrappers and stuff from lunch come right back home in his lunch box. But he still gets excited about the Christmas or winter stories that I read every night in December even if he tries to act like he isn't. I'll keep him too.

Those boys make me smile.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Just Keep Swimming...

Or in my case, keep putting one foot in front of the other. Unless I am on a hamster wheel, eventually I will get somewhere. Let it be someplace good.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Balancing Act

How do you reconcile when what you need and what you get are on opposite sides of the spectrum? How much can you adjust what you need to meet somewhere in the middle? Especially when dealing with someone else and their needs, which are opposite of yours. Needs are generally non-negotiable. If they were negotiable, they would be called wants.

I can see where I want to be, but I can't see how to get there. I know what I need, but not how to get it. I am stuck between the proverbial rock and hard place.

I have spent the greater part of today pondering what I am thankful for, isn't that what you were supposed to do today? And there are so many things that I am grateful for. But there is an underlying current of what is wrong that detracts from what is right.

So today I am glad that I have two boys in my life that have the ability to make me smile and laugh one minute and want to pull my hair out the next. I have a team that I work with that will help when I need it, offers a willing ear to listen to my troubles and be my friends. My class is fun to teach and they seem to enjoy having me teach them. I have a home that may not be my dream home, but gives me a safe place to come home to. Velcro, who may be getting on in years, but is the best dog around. And friends that are fun to spend time with and support me when I need it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

One Really Cute Good Thing

When everything in my life seems to be headed south, I can always count on my one really cute good thing to cheer me up. My sweetE is guaranteed to say or do something that makes me laugh and want to hug him and remind him how much I love him.

I took him to Costco tonight, the Ped pantry was running low on pretty much everything. He takes after his father and will talk non-stop. I can just sit and listen and throw in the occasional, "wow" and he entertains me for the entire trip. He can make the most profound statements to silly, goofball statements in the same breath. Unfortunately, I don't remember most of the things he says, even though I attempt to.

Tonight, he shared with me that a boy in his class chews on his shoes. Collective "EWWWWW!" He then proceeded to tell me all the reasons that was a bad idea, most of them having to do with poop. That moved on to why slugs are grosser than worms (the slime).

Later I was informed that I do not push the cart as fast as daddy (he has longer legs....hello). But we zipped around the aisles anyway, while he gave me fashion advice. He got excited about sliced cheese and complained that the chicken nuggets were Mickey shapes when he wanted dinosaurs. In the cooler he shared his "warm" when I complained of being cold.

We ended the night with him polishing off a ice cream bar (he did share, but he ate 95% by himself). The boy may frustrate me at times, but I can't help but love him. I would seriously keep him five forever if it was possible.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Our house has been invaded by germs. The only member of the house that has escaped them is Velcro. And he is rapidly heading into geriatric dogdom, so he has his own issues.

These germs are insidious. Just when you think you have got them beat, and you enjoy a couple days of health, boom they come back. The boys have fevers and sniffles, coughs and congestion, aches and pains and whiny-ness galore. But, at least at the moment, there is nothing major or scary about their illnesses. But I want them to be well and happy again. Poor kids.

And I have been logging major hours in bed. I went from being the only healthy one to one of the sick in just a matter of hours. I spent a marathon 13 hours in bed one night and 12 the next. But all that sleep has done its job and I think I will be just fine. I even went for a 2 mile run this morning. Let's hope those germs don't come back for a second act with me!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Mystery Solved

It is a common complaint amongst women. Why can't men put the toilet seat down?

And I have solved the mystery. As a mom to two boys, I have learned a few things. They can't be bothered to flush. Yuck! And they can't be bothered to lift the seat. And they dribble on the seat. Also yuck!

So moms of previous generations probably had to put with the same thing. And they probably reached the same conclusion that I have. It would be easier, and faster, to leave the toilet seat up. Because having to clean the seat every time before you sit down is getting really, really old. And no matter how many times I tell them to lift the seat, I still find dribble. So I am switching to leaving the seat up. As the only girl in the house, it is the best I can do.

I will still have to flush the downstairs toilet almost every time I walk by. But one battle at a time.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Race Fever

Today I signed up for another race. I will be doing the local Thanksgiving day race. It has the bonus of not starting until 9 am. Very important in my book. And since I won't be the one cooking the bird that day, I am free to spend my morning running around town.

Then I agreed to join a walking relay next summer. Two days of walking with a bunch of other people what also may be a little nuts. What the heck, it sounds like fun. And I will be able to brag when I start back to work the following Monday.

And now I have to stay up until midnight to sign up for an especially popular all women's run in May. I am also bumping up the ante and doing a quarter marathon (aka 10K+).

What in the world has come over me?

Monday, October 26, 2009

From Caught Up to Overwhelmed

Just over a week ago I was caught up on grading, planning and all things work. I was coming home every night with no bag of stuff that I should work on. Although, to be honest, the bag rarely gets touched once I get home.

And then two weeks with added responsibilities and I am suddenly, and completely, overwhelmed. My pile of work that needs attention is growing by the day. The bag I shlep home every night is growing heavier and becoming a work out by itself. I am flying by the seat of my pants. And the end of the quarter is a mere three weeks away.

And to add to the problem, my motivation right now is non-existent. I don't want to do much of anything. So getting caught up again any time soon, probably not going to happen.

But hey, my students still like me. And I survived conferences. It'll all be okay again sometime fairly soon.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


My entire life I have had a fear of change and the unknown. I would hang back and watch and wait until I felt that I knew what was going to happen, that it would be okay. I have let opportunities pass me by. I have let go of dreams. I have always taken the safe route. Any risk-taker gene that may have been in me was never developed.

Couple that with an inherent need to please. I would choose what to do based on if it would make certain people in my life happy. If it would grant me some level of approval. I would avoid challenges because the risks of failure and rejection were too great. Even if those challenges were what I wanted most. My choices were never made based on what I really wanted.

Long ago I dreamed of going east for college. I seemed to be on a wide variety of college mailing lists. They fed my dream. But the naysayers in my life made sure that I knew that I couldn't afford to go. The risks seemed too great and the money made an easy out. But I have always regretted not giving it a try. I never applied to a single school. I did eventually go to a state school, but I'll never know if I would have made it in or if they would have made it possible for me to go.

Over the years, I have let go of little pieces of me. Stuck to the safe and easy route. Too afraid to try the new things because I might fail. I teach my students that failure is okay, it is how we learn. It is an opportunity to try again. But I am just as afraid to fail as they are.

And now I am at the crux again. And I have a multitude of people who have an opinion about what I should do. People that I feel an obligation to please. And I have to decide, do I please them or me. Do I risk their disapproval? Do I listen to myself for a change? Do I take the risk and choose the unknown?

I know that it is time to rebuild me. And I have started. But the decisions are hard and the consequences are real. But, the only thing I know for sure is that how things are now is not good for me.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I Rocked My Race

I ran my 5k race today. The weather report called for 80-90% chance of rain today. But the weather gods chose to smile on me with 60 degrees and sun. Perfect.

My goal was to run half and walk half. Goals are good, it is even better when you blast past them. I settled into a nice steady pace and decided to see how long I could last. And I kept going, and going. And I felt great. Could I maybe run the whole thing??? This is before I even hit the one mile mark. But I kept going and still felt great.

I passed the one mile mark and then the two mile mark and I was still running. I passed a few people, I checked my watch. I was poised to make a new personal best. I walked twice for about 30 seconds each time, but otherwise I ran the whole thing. The whole thing!!!

I ended up finishing in 32 minutes and 36 seconds, or a 10.5 minute mile. When I started out walking I was at 15.5 minute miles. What a difference two months makes. I was smack in the middle of the finishers, 41st out of 82. I was in the top half! Not bad for my first time. I better watch it, I might get hooked.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Just to that Tree

I am not a runner. At least not since I was sweetP's age. My favorite line was that "I only run when chased." But every night I tie on my shoes and head out the door. Sometimes I just walk, sometimes I do running and walking intervals. I have watched my time per mile decrease. I have watched as guys in trucks do a double take as they drive by. Or adjust their rearview mirror as they go by. And I am enjoying the new loose quality that my clothes have taken on.

And I must admit that I like it.

Every morning I weigh myself. And the numbers are creeping up again. But I don't care. Because it is not the numbers on the scale that make me decide how I feel. I might stop getting on the scale. Because my clothes are a better gauge of how I am doing. And once upon a time it was drilled into me that muscle weighs more than fat. And I am getting more muscle. And it looks like less fat.

Now if only you could point out to your body where exactly you would like the fat burned from first. Because the place that it bugs me the most, is the place that holds onto it best. But I am persevering. And those stubborn spots will not win. I am more stubborn than they are.

So maybe that nine year old runner is still in me. At least some of the time. At least until I get to that tree, then I'll walk again.

Monday, October 5, 2009

More Walls

You know those times in your life where it seems like everything is overwhelming and you feel like you are drowning? Where it is an effort to put one foot in front of the other. Where the mundane is too much.

This is one of those times. It has been a craptacular summer and it has carried over into fall and there is no end in sight. The mask I perfected in childhood is coming in handy again. Back when anything less than a happy face was unacceptable. I put it on when headed to work and make it last while I do my daily performance. Then I hide in my classroom and grade papers and plan while it slowly crumbles. Meanwhile life continues on autopilot.

I am completely incapable of dragging myself out of the quagmire that I am in. So not only have I hit the physical wall, but an emotional one as well. It might as well be the Great Wall of China for how I can't see around it or over it. And it seems to surround me.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


So today I hit the wall. The walks/runs stopped being fun. Normally this would be the time where I quit. But, this time I am going to keep going and see how long it takes to get past it. It doesn't hurt that the skinny jeans fit yesterday. And I have plans on getting a new pair of skinnier jeans.

I don't think that it is helping that it got cold. I hate to be cold. I don't think that it helps that I am exhausted. However, I did manage to score eight hours of sleep last night for the first time in about six weeks. But I think the Ambien was still running through my system this morning. I know I have not been eating well or drinking enough. And I think all of it caught up with me this morning.

And I have a race in two weeks, dang it. I told you I didn't know what I was thinking. But I kept going this morning long after I wanted to turn around. Around mile four I was feeling better, not great, but better. But I was headed home with fun plans for the afternoon, so I didn't add to the route.

As for the original reason for the exercise, reduced migraines. I am still waiting. And hoping.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Things Change

No matter what happens in life, one thing is constant. Change. Some changes you plan and some you don't. Even when you are perfectly content with things, they change. Other times, change can't happen soon enough. Some changes you embrace, others you accept and some you fight.

Right now I know that change is happening. I don't know how it will work itself out, but it is here. I have been on a bit of a voyage of self discovery lately. Where I will end up is still a mystery, but I know that it won't be where I am at the moment. And that is a good thing. At the same time, that unknown can be scary. In the meantime, I'll let you know when I get there.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Race

Make sure you are safely seated before reading on. I don't want anyone to get hurt. I just signed up for my first race. It is a shocking new development for me. The last race that I willingly ran in was "The Little Foot" run when I was about eight.

But in the last month I have added the exercise habit and become a bit of an exercise junkie. So tonight I signed up for a 5k. I had considered a 5-miler, but I couldn't get past the whole start at 7:45 thing, leave the house at 6:15 thing, to go get sweaty amongst strangers. So I found something closer with a later start time. It has the added bonus of being partly on bark trails too. Easier on the shins.

I have three more weeks before the big event. I may have to wonder what I have gotten myself into. But it should be interesting.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Upside Down

At this moment in time, something in my world is upside down. I don't know if it is my world that has turned or if I am the part that has changed. But, either way, everything is off. And I don't know how to set it right again. Or even if it is possible.

The only good to come out of the chaos that is my life at the moment, is that I am becoming a bit of an exercise nut. My day is off even more if I haven't gotten a walk in. Almost every day, I have headed out for two to five miles of me time. It all started as a way to combat the obnoxious number of migraines I was getting. But it is helping me cope with a host of other issues at the same time. Now, if only it would help me sleep.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

And Yet I Cannot Sleep

I am sitting here tonight. I can barely keep my eyes open. My arms are heavy and tired. My head is throbbing. I am exhausted.

And yet I cannot fall asleep. I can lay down and close my eyes. But then I feel wide awake. My brain is still whirring away. I am aware of every sound, light and movement in the house. Tomorrow I will be meeting my students parents. It would be so nice if I could be rested.

I am so tired of not being able to sleep. I am just so tired.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

All About Me, Just Because

Every now and then I do these blog things (as I call them) just because I don't want to think too much. Today is one of those days.


1. Started your own blog Wow, look here it is!
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/Disney World
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo, Terrifying!
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea I think, maybe it was a movie.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch More than one.
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning Ugh.
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked As a kid, yikes.
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise It was called a cruise anyway, but it was a little boat for a week.
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language Do computer languages count? Yes.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing/repelling Not so much climbing, but repelling rocked.
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke It wasn't pretty.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted/sketched Cut out counts.
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain Just guessing.
53. Played in the mud Is there a kid alive that hasn't?
54. Gone to a drive-in theater Should go again and take the boys.
55. Been in a movie - Almost, got bored of waiting at the audition.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies (Campfire candy counts!)
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt (working on it)
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job (mutually quit)
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous Ernest Borgnine
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby 2 actually.
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day. More than once.
101. Fallen in Love

Might need to go do more stuff on the list.

Monday, September 14, 2009

When You Just Can't Sleep

One day in the near future I may be accused of being drunk. I won't be able to walk a straight line. Or speak coherently. Or think straight. All because I cannot sleep anymore. I try. I go to bed on time. I fall asleep. But then, I wake up and can't go back to sleep. I lay there and lay there and lay there. I don't watch the clock if I can help it.

I am just seriously exhausted. Even when I take an Ambien I wake up and can't go back to sleep. It is miserable. I love sleep. I miss sleep. I don't want to be awake when it is both dark out and also considered morning. Sleep, please come be my friend again.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Knock On Wood

I made a mistake yesterday afternoon. I announced, with just a little bit of glee, that it had been a whole week since I had a migraine. I knocked on wood, but I had provoked kharma into blasting me with a migraine just a few short hours later. And it won't go away. I have taken two doses of Amerge and still it lingers. I made it through today by throwing 3 Advil and a coffee at it. But it just won't go away. I can only hope that it doesn't take a serious turn for the worse in the next 24-48 hours. I opted to not go get the "rescue relief" at the doctor today. It is on file for whenever I need it, but it seemed to be getting better. Not so much anymore.

So the next time I decide that I need to announce that things are going so well, remind me to keep my mouth shut and not provoke kharma into reminding me not to brag.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A New Year

Today was the official start of the new school year. The week leading up to it is fun but surreal, today the story started. I have 25 new children to get to know, love and be exasperated by. So far, it seems like a great class. But those early days can be deceiving. I had a former student call on the first day one year and tell me point blank that it all goes downhill after the first day. It was funny even if there was some truth in it.

But I am hopeful that the year will be productive and fun. It is a rare day that I don't like going to work. Even when my students are driving me nuts, I still want to go. It is like having children of your own. There is non-stop entertainment, except you get to send them all home at the end of the day. But for the next 10 months I will be bringing them all home with me everyday. They are about to become a part of the fabric of my life.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Lost, But Looking

Lost and found boxes are very interesting things. You never know what you will find in them. People lose some crazy things. There are things that you question how someone managed to lose that. A single shoe on the side of the road, I have never figured that out. Keys, how did they ever get home without them and get in their house once they got there.

I lose my mind on a regular basis, it always comes back. Don't know what I would do if it didn't. I have never managed to lose my children. But I have managed to lose me. Somewhere along the line, me disappeared. I know it is buried deep within the self I am now. But I miss it. I didn't even realize for the longest time that the person I believed I was, was gone. But in recent weeks, I have become aware of what I am missing. And I wonder how I could not have noticed. How I could have let myself change so significantly.

So I am searching for me. I want the bubble and bounce back. The girl that broke a bed by jumping up on it and then sat there grinning because it was just too darn funny. I want the girl with the ready laugh and smile. The one that would crack jokes and relax and have fun. The one that didn't snap with impatience regularly. I was really fun. Now, really nice people in my life now will tell me that I am still fun. But I know that there is a difference. The lost me would go out often without persuasion or permission. The me I am searching for was up for the occasional wacky stunt. Me had spunk.

So if you happen to find my lost me, send her back this way. In the meantime I will be checking lost and found boxes wherever they may be.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Out Walking

I recently finished reading the book "The Migraine Brain." And while there wasn't a ton in there I didn't already know, the idea that was pounded into my brain was that I needed to be more dedicated to exercise. So before the weather turns cold and unpleasant I am trying to form a habit. The habit that gets my buns out the door and moving.

I have created a 2.1 mile route that winds around the neighborhood. I am lengthening it for weekends. So far, so good. Yesterday I even went in the rain. No small feat for someone who is a fair weather girl. But I went, it is time to kick the migraines to the curb. I also figured out my main stressor, hence main trigger and I am working on that too. I am headed to week four on my new preventative meds.

I swear if something doesn't work soon, I will lose my mind.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Halls Are Quiet

It is strange and relaxing to be working in a school before the children come. It has a rare quiet that is absent the rest of the year. The building has been cleaned. The desks and chairs are ready. Once the school year starts, the buzz of the students remains in the building long after they leave each day.

But in the week before school starts, there is just the sound of industrious quiet. Each teacher working in their room preparing for a new group of students. We don't yet know which students will make us crazy, make us worry, make us proud or make us laugh. We can leave each day without mentally taking them home. Because I have 27 children, two of my own and 25 that I share.

But today, it is just the first day of the week before school. It is a fresh start. The possibilities are endless.

Friday, August 28, 2009

So, Was It A Migraine?

You bet your booty it was. Migraine number eleven set a new record, or personal worst. And it was bent on making me miserable. It was fast moving with all the accessories.

The good news is that I survived today, sans migraine. I really don't want to add to that record, so wish me luck in surviving the next three days without any migraine visitors.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

No, It Cannot Be Another Migraine

So in the continuing saga that is my head, I am really racking them up this month. Yesterday was migraine number ten. And today might just be number eleven, or a new record. I visited the neurologist a few weeks ago and we are trying a new medication to prevent them. I don't think it is working, I have had six migraines since I started the drug 16 days ago.

What do you think?

I have tried all four of the classes of drugs that they use to prevent. We are now onto a new drug in one of classes as we work our way around again. My heart rate is great, but I think that is the end of the effectiveness of this particular drug. I am supposed to be on it for two months before we switch. I may not make it. And I go back to work on Monday.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

He Finally Gets It

Quite a while ago I decided that sweetE would not go to Kindergarten when he was 5. We would wait. His birthday is so close to the cut off that it just seemed like a bad idea. Many people think that this is because he is my baby and I am not ready to let go just yet. But, in fact it has more to do with the students that I see and the difference between the youngest in the class and the oldest. The younger ones struggle so much more academically, socially and emotionally most of the time. There are exceptions to every rule, but sweetE has not given me any reason to believe he will be an exception.

This spring I was having to justify my decision to everyone, Ducky, sweetP, parents of sweetE's friends. Everyone thought he should go to Kindergarten. SweetP's reason was funny, he wanted to be sweetE's buddy at school. Ducky said he hated being the oldest. But one way or another sweetE was going to be the youngest or the oldest. I would rather that he have the extra maturity on his side.

Ducky has gone along with my plan grudgingly. So I have been repeatedly giving examples of why keeping sweetE back is a good idea. Ducky grumbles and agrees. But he never really got it.

Until he saw sweetE in action with his peers. Ducky is sweetE's assistant soccer coach. Last week, he came home and announced that he "finally gets it." After watching sweetE compared to the other kids on the team, he sees the difference that being so much younger makes.

I don't feel like I need to sell him on the decision to keep him back from Kindergarten anymore. SweetE gets to spend one more year in a small class where his teacher can take the time to help him settle in. Where he won't get lost in the crowd of kids and be overwhelmed by the expectations.

And he is still my baby after all. I might as well enjoy it while I can.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Hmmm, What Am I Getting Done Today?

Just for fun, I am tracking what I get accomplished today. Some days it feels like I don't manage a thing. So today, I will see what I do get done all day. I'll be updating all day, just for kicks and all.

• Sewed the tail back on Cuters the stuffed animal. What animal he is, is a bit of a mystery.
• Started and finished doing back to school clothes shopping for the boys. It is very handy that they are boys and young enough that it is easy to do online. And gotta love the Old Navy sale, I can buy slim jeans for my super skinny boys with adustable waistbands for $7 off the regular price.
• Did the dishes.
• Started one load of laundry, folded and put away another load.
• Dealt with too many wrestling, tickling, shrieking tournaments to keep track off. And it is just barely 10 in the morning. It could be a very long day.
• Assigned chores to be completed before lunch. We'll see if it happens, the boys have not been entirely cooperative lately.
UPDATE: They actually did their chores.
• Helped sweetP with a song on the piano. Can't say it was the highlight of the day with the whining and complaining, but he did finish the song and it is sounding better.
• Took a shower.
• Changed the sheets on sweetE's bed.
• Took off the sheets on sweetP's bed and my bed.
• Made 2 pepperoni and cheese sandwiches, toasted, to fill the order that my two little diners requested. There are no requests at dinner, you get what you get. Lunch, I take requests.
• Did the dishes, again. The sink is empty, a rare occurrence.
• Gathered wayward socks and other miscellaneous clothing items that never travelled to the clothes hamper. Shockingly, none of the belong to me. Okay, not so shocking.
• Dealt with the boy that threw the book, and the boy that was hit by the book. Thought about the end of summer and fewer of these incidences once school starts.
• Sorted clothes and started another load of laundry. Folded and put away earlier load. The dresser drawers are getting full again.
• Made lemonade for the boys.
• Made brownies because they sounded good and I intended to make them Saturday. Do you see how far behind I am? SweetE helped and got to crack the eggs for the first time.
• Checked status updates on facebook and checked for new blog entries. I also investigated the delight of the day at They have such cool stuff.
• Took a quick break to catch my breath. Better go get a glass of water, I haven't been drinking today.
• Ate a brownie with sweetE. Yum.
• Folded and put away another load of laundry and continued the cycle with a new load started.
• Matched socks and sent them to their respective rooms.
• Played two races of cycling on wii sports resort with sweetE. I tired out my virtual mii.
• Vacuumed the family room.
• Spot treated the spot on the carpet where Velcro peed. His parents fault for forgetting to put him out one night.
• Yet another load of laundry started and one set of sheets folded.
• Changed clothes just in case I had to act as assistant coach for sweetP's soccer practice.
• Took sweetP to soccer practice, didn't get my exercise, the regular assistant was there.
• Harvested a head of broccoli from the garden.
• Made a super yummy and nutritious dinner, that the children only slightly resisted.
• Did the dishes again.
• Trimmed the dead flowers off one of my hydrangeas and trimmed the shrub next to it while I was there.

Still coming up, making sweetP's bed and my bed, getting the boys into bed, finishing the laundry and straightening up downstairs some. Then I hope to settle down and read for a while. Or more likely collapse.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Conversation with an Almost 5 Year Old

"Mommy, why don't our bodies come apart?"

"Because then you would lose some of the pieces."

"Do they come apart when you die?"

"Sort of."

"Unless you become a zombie."

"Why do they put dead people in the ground?"

"So we can't smell the stinky."

"But can they smell their own stinky?"

"No, their noses don't work anymore."

"Why, because they fell off?"

"Something like that."

"Mommy, don't cut off my toes."

"Why would I cut off your toes?"

"The knives are right here."

"I wouldn't cut off your toes, you need them."

And the most frequent conversation....
"SweetE, why did you [fill in crime here]?

"I dunno."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Oh, My Throbbing Head

It is two in the morning. I am awake. I went to bed at nine. I was laying in bed wondering if death was a viable option. I was also wondering what kinds of brain surgery I was willing to endure and with what long term effects to not have to endure any more headaches.

I have had four migraines in less than one week. I am not so much living as existing. When I am not having a migraine I am anticipating when the next one will hit. I am afraid to do too much and then trigger one. I am becoming afraid to live.

The worst part is that I have been being good. I have been going to bed on time. I have been getting my 8+ hours of sleep. I have been valiantly drinking my water. We all know that I hate drinking water. I have been doing my best to not stress or get grouchy.

I finally had a drug that had them under control. I only had one mild side effect that I could totally live with. Except there was also one major side effect that would have been detrimental to my long term well being. So I am no longer taking the drug. And now, I am spending half my life with a headache and the other half waiting for one.

I go in to see the neurologist again in three weeks. I really wonder how I will make it that long. I wonder how many options are left to explore. I have tried so many different drugs to prevent them. None had worked well or they had side effects that were problematic. There was the drug that if I sat down in the afternoon, I could not stay awake. There was the drug that gave me daily headaches. Then there were the ones that just didn't work.

All I know is that if this continues I will require a padded room because I will lose my mind.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Because I Can

After hearing many of my friends talk about how stubborn their young children are and about how they just want to be independent I came to a bit of a conclusion.

I am very much in touch with my inner two year old.

I am fiercely independent. I hate to ask for help. I prefer to just do it myself, thank you very much. Tonight, I tried to break my toe rather than let Ducky move the chair part of our sectional while I was vacuuming. Because I could do it myself. It got caught on the rug and then skinned up my toe and made me almost curse out loud (there was a lot of cursing in my head). In the end, I let him move it back into place, but I wasn't happy about it. It's not that I don't want the help, it's just that I know I can do these things without help. I know it drives Ducky crazy, just the way that it drives my friends crazy that their kids don't want help. They want to be independent.

In my family growing up, you didn't ask for help. You just did it. You got the job done. You figured out a way to do it. And that mentality has stuck. It takes a lot for me to ask anyone for help.

Then there is that nasty little stubborn streak in me. It could have something to do with that whole independent thing. But once I make up my mind, then why go to all the trouble to make it up again. I thought about it, I did all the work, I'm done. It's not that my mind can't ever be changed, but there has to be a pretty convincing argument.

So my inner two year old is doing quite well. She is butting heads with my children, challenging my husband and keeping everyone on their toes.

Book Recommendation!! The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
It is a Young Readers Choice Nominee for 2009-2010 for the 4th-6th grade division. I just read it over the weekend and it is a great read filled with action, suspense, puzzles and mystery. It was a fun book for kids or adults.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Lazy Days of Summer

I am searching for the lazy days of summer. It sounds so delightful. It is 80 degrees, so warm, but comfortably so. Sitting about on my swing on the deck, a glass of lemonade sitting on the table with ice cubes tinkling lightly while little beads of water form on the glass. A tantalizing book in my hands as the boys play in the yard running and having a grand time. They are not yelling or being excessively loud, but are obviously having fun and letting me enjoy spending my summer days with them.

Thus far it's a myth. Instead, we have been errand central. We have been on the go and on the move every day. This is very unlike me. Today sweetP said, "Mommy, when can we just stay home for a day?" as we headed out on the second errand trip for the day. But I had to go to the pharmacy so I could lower the dosage on my medication. It had to be done today. The wonder medicine that was keeping the migraines at bay, was making the kidneys not work properly. Properly functioning kidneys are important. So back to the drawing board for the headaches and off we went.

As for summer. There are projects galore, park days and play dates. Free movies and concerts, camp and camping. Trips to the grandparents houses and off to the beach. There isn't a dull moment in there anywhere. There are errands to run and games to play.

I think I will have to schedule a dull moment or two. Otherwise I'll arrive back at school more tired than when I left.

Friday, July 3, 2009


Life just stinks.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Just Another Bag of Lemons

Life is handing me one lemon after another these days. I have a whole bag of them just sitting here. I'd make lemonade, except that I gave up citrus since it gives me migraines. So what is a girl to do?

I'll give you some examples of some of the lemons.

I went to the dentist to get me teeth cleaned and checked. I go twice a year, just like you are supposed to. I have been brushing twice a day and working hard to prevent any new cavities and doing a great job. I have even been remembering to floss frequently enough that I haven't been given any lectures. But... wouldn't you know that one of the old, big fillings is broken and I need another crown. My second in a year and I have already maxed my dental allotment for the year. Total Lemon.

The last seven weeks of work I had to do double duty because my teaching partner was on family leave. I am thrilled for her, but the substitute she ended up with (after many unsuccessful attempts at others) ended up being a bit of a dud. She was a very nice lady, but completely wrong for a long term job. So I had to do my job and half of hers. Consequently, I didn't get all of my work done that I had planned on and managed to run myself ragged in the process. Lemon.

The lack of sleep from the end of school caused me to get a cold on top of my allergies and I am still trying to recover. It has been a week since I got done working and I am still waking up feeling exhausted. The boys have even been letting me sleep until eight in the morning, meaning that I have been getting 9 or 10 hours of sleep a night and I'm still totally exhausted more than a week later. Throw another lemon in my bag. This morning was a little bit better, so at least there might be hope. Although it is nearly midnight as I write this, so maybe not.

Then there is the van. I never wanted a mini van. I was talked into the mini van. I have always said that all vans are evil, even the mini ones. And I have been proven correct. Our van is cursed. It has been hit by a bus while parked. We weren't lucky enough to have it totaled by the bus. It has been rear-ended by a person lacking insurance. It got a crack in its windshield for no reason at all. It got a clean bill of health one week only to have the transmission go out one week later on the day we were planning to put it up for sale! I hate the van. We then find out the transmissions on these vans were recalled and that the transmission had already been replaced once. So the transmission is only 5 years old and needs to be fixed. Spell it out with me. L. E. M. O. N. I hate the van. Which now means that there is no way that we can sell the van for what we owe on it. And there is no way that I am paying to fix a car that neither one of us even likes. Throw a couple of lemons in my bag, because this one is a doozy.

Oh, the migraines. Let's talk about the migraines. The chiropractor is not working. I seem to get more of them when I see her than when I don't. I am going to experiment with being really busy this summer and not see her for a few weeks and see what happens. Is that bad? How do you say, "Your adjustment seem to cause headaches, not cure them." It just seems mean. Then there is the fact that the new medicine seems to be working. Great, right? Wait, lemon ahead. I have to go in and have more blood work done. There is a chance that it is making my kidneys not work. Bad. Functional kidneys are kind of important. So if the blood work comes back with the numbers too low, I have to go off the meds the make the headaches go away. Then we are back to trying something else that may or may not work. Hand over the lemon.

Then the last lemon because I need to go to bed. Someone I love is waiting on the results of a biopsy that could make the rest of my lemons very minor in comparison. So a whole bag of lemons all by itself.

So life, please send me something else for a while. I'm a little tired of lemons.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Too Busy

I will be too busy to post until the last grade is posted, the last file is filed and the last area is cleaned in my classroom. Until then, feel free to chat amongst yourselves I will be too busy to notice. :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Speeding Ticket

If there was a police officer out there, my life would be getting pulled over any minute now. I am going to wake up tomorrow to the last day of school. And I will be crying out, "But wait, I haven't taught you X, Y or Z yet!" But we will be sending them off to middle school and it will be someone else's turn to teach and inspire and worry about them.

Even thought there are two weeks left before that day, I feel like it is tomorrow. The number of special events and interruptions have cut the amount of time we have to wrap things up in half. On one hand I am so ready to be done, but on the other I just need more time.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

He Gets His Wish

My sweetE gets his wish tomorrow.

For months he has been asking to go to the dentist again. "Mommy can I go to the dentist." Every time we drive past the dentist. Whenever we talk about his teeth. It has finally been six months and he gets to go again. He is thrilled. Jumping up and down excited that he gets to go to the dentist.

His dentist is great. I am so glad I changed my insurance so we could take him and sweetP to a pediatric dentist. I am so glad that they will not be filled with panic and dread when they think of the dentist like I was as a child. Instead he begs to go to the dentist.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Let Me Get My Sailor Hat

Today I sounded like a sailor with both feet firmly planted in the gutter. I swore more in one hour than I have in the last two year total. I might have made a rap artist blush. And poor Ducky got to hear most of it.

Once upon a time, last week, my credit union decided to close ALL their branches here. And all I got was a cheery little letter a week in advance telling me that I could still do all of my banking via online banking, over the phone and at the ATM. Isn't that super. So last week I closed the boys accounts since I can't do their stuff online or at the ATM.

Enter today. I am tired, I stayed up way too late, too many days in a row. I have some errands I need to run. The main errand being depositing money into the now not-so-convenient credit union account. I call to see if they at least left their ATM open to simplify my banking needs. That would be a big, fat NO. Why make things easy for all of their customers that they just left high and dry? So, I head off to the nearest non-credit union ATM.

I think it might be important to share that I have never in all my years ever made a deposit at an ATM. I like to have a little face time and have always gone in to the branch to make my deposits. It just seems like a good idea to give my money to a human directly. So, I drive up and see that you need an envelope and they don't have any and so much for that idea.

So I drive across the street to yet another bank. I have to walk up to this ATM. I am getting seriously annoyed at the amount of time that this is taking, when if my branch was still open I would have been in and out and on to the next thing on my list. So I walk up, feed my card in the slot. I enter my pin and I cannot find the part where is says make a deposit. No envelope is required, but I cannot find the option to make a deposit. I have gone through the options twice. I have canceled the transaction and started over.

I call Ducky. He tries to help, but he hates to do tech support and he can tell that I am just about to lose it. Firetruck is flying out of my mouth about every other word. I am feeling incredibly stupid at my inability to complete what should be a simple task. I have a Master's degree in computers and I cannot operate an ATM. Couple that with the fact that I hate to ask for help or directions and I have a tendency to cry since I had kids, hello really bad day.

So I go in to find out why I cannot manage to make it work. Long story, short. Bank ATM's cannot talk to credit union ATMs. So while they will let you take money out, they won't let you put money in. I have wasted 45 minutes of my life trying to accomplish the impossible. So I waste 10 more minutes yelling at the credit union people.

Why couldn't they have left the ATM's open? Why couldn't they have sent the nearest shared branching locations with the cheery letter? Why couldn't they have sent a list of full service ATM locations with the cheery letter? Why couldn't they have sent the letter out more than a week in advance? They claim they sent it out almost a month in advance, but I didn't get it then and it has no date on it.

All in all it is the little things that can send me right over the edge. My sailor hat is back on the shelf. I shouldn't be needing it again for a while. I went to one of my other credit unions after work and deposited my checks. But it was 20 more minutes out of my day that I needed to spend on other things.

I just wish they put people before profit like they claim to. And I wish they seemed to care at all about my inconvenience. I liked them up until last week too.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Taking a Moment

It is late, but I am going to take a moment to be grateful.

It has been a crazy week. But more things went right than went wrong.

• The family is all healthy again!
• My students only drove me slightly nuts this week. They are 5th graders, it is spring, this is to be expected. So all in all, I am happy that I have a pretty great class overall.
• The district feels that all lay-offs and transfers are in place and I am still in the place I want to be.
• Last night two boys were fighting over who got to sit next to me at dinner. It is nice to be loved that much.
• The weather forecast for the long weekend is sunny and warm.
• Phase one of sweetP's room is done. I am ready to move to sweetE's room.
• I am only traveling as far as my backyard this weekend. I will not be sitting in traffic or dealing with crowds. I will be hanging out with my three favorite people in the world.
• The new medicine to prevent the migraines seems to be doing a pretty good job.
• As I see the problems that people around me are facing, I feel pretty fortunate. Life is being pretty kind.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Roller Coaster of Life

Over the past few weeks there have been so many ups and downs that I feel like my life is just a new attraction at a theme park with ups, down, loops, corkscrews, twists and dark tunnels.

I am trudging up the hill to the end of the school year frantically trying to get the last of the units in before I run out of time. At the same time there seem to be more last minute activities that pull kids out of the classroom and take away from my teaching time. I have a month to cover the entire universe. Wish me luck. I'll be happy if we thoroughly cover our solar system.

I survived a speedy descent into the dark and scary tunnel of the stomach flu last week with Ducky and sweetE. All three of us came down with it within six hours of each other. That was fun. SweetE recovered quickly, but Ducky and I weren't so lucky. I was seriously contemplating going in to be hooked up to an IV for fluids.

There was the big loop of my sweetP turning 8 last week in the midst of the rest of us being sick. He was good about it. It is still hard to believe he is that old. He had his birthday party on Saturday, it went great and all of his friends had fun. He has had a bit of the "Birthday Complex" since then, but should be back to normal in a few days.

There is the major twist that they started announcing layoffs at work last week. While I can safely say that I will have a job next year and I am relatively sure that I know where, there is always a chance that things will change. They could say that "You will be teaching math at X middle school or Y high school next year," which would majorly suck. Then, there is the fact that I feel so badly for all my friends and colleagues who already know that they don't have a job for next year. There are significant changes for my building. So much is up in the air and I am so tired of cuts in education.

There are all the day to day twists and turns that keep things from getting dull. Weird weather. Pasta sauce from the pantry, that was already open(?) so it is moldy and can't be used for dinner. Insect research project for 2nd grade due in 2 weeks (who thought that was a good idea at this point in the year?). Promises made to cute boys that need to be kept. Mount Laundry. 2 wasps in the house. Random noises. Temper tantrums. Possessed toys.

For the moment I am living for the long weekend. Just get me to three days without scheduled work. Get me there without an illness, headache or other unplanned event. A flat patch of track is all I'm looking for.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Birds and Bees

I hear the most amazing stories about what happens when I leave the house.

I had to go in to work on Sunday. On Mother's Day, can you believe it. I had to put the projector back and do some bare minimum planning. Not that it did me any good when I had to call in sick on Monday. But, this is the story that was relayed to me about what happened while I was out.

SweetP was playing with one of the boys down the street. Ducky and sweetE were working in the yard. SweetE was running around being his usual helpful self. They were mowing the lawn and pulling weeds and really sprucing up the yard. It looks great. At one point Ducky thought it would be helpful to remind sweetE to be careful of the bees.

To which sweetE replied, "I know all about the birds and bees."

That should make the teens years much easier. One less awkward conversation in my future.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Hallmark Holidays

It is another one of those let's appreciate the people around us days. Buy them a card, flowers, a gift to let them know how important they are days. I don't mean to sound ungrateful. But I have a thing about being told when to do things.

I think if you really appreciate someone, tell them and show them all the time. Don't designate one single day, so you can be off the hook for the rest of the year. Frequent words and actions convey the message without a trip to any store or any special day. I know that as people get busier they need a reminder, but I also know that the more significant the relationship, the less that reminder is needed.

My sweetE made a card in preschool with the help of his teacher, it pretty much said it all. "If I had a million dollars... I would give it to you so you wouldn't have to work." He only wants his mommy to stay home with him. He gives the best hugs and tells me he loves me all the time. He lights up when he sees me. I have Mother's day every day.

My sweetP, is a slightly more reserved kind of guy, more like his mom. He still runs up and hugs me at school, he holds my hand when we are walking. He snuggles under the fuzzy blanket when we watch TV. He may be growing up, but has no problem being my little boy. I have Mother's day every day.

I don't really like that one day. It lessens the other days where they spontaneously appreciate the things I do. When sweetP thanks me for washing his favorite t-shirt. Or when they get excited because I am making pancakes for dinner and pronounce that I am the best mommy ever. Those moments are so genuine.

I hope my children never feel like they have to get me something. I hope that they will always want to let me know that they love and appreciate the things that I do for them. Like today when sweetP told me that he loved his shark that I painted. It meant more than the expected "thank you mom," because I knew that he really appreciated the time I spent painting it (all day) and loved the final product. It is really cool and looks great in his room.

So Mother's Day was okay. But tomorrow will be better when life can go back to normal. I can be appreciated for the normal stuff I do, just because.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Ever Wanna

Do you ever just want to just go outside and just scream(except I am not a screamer)? Not because any thing is wrong or for any specific reason. But just because life has just reached an overwhelming level and it won't slow down and no matter what you do you can't catch up and you just need to press the release valve. I picture those whistles like on the old steam boat willie cartoons. Do something, so you can catch a breath, gain a little perspective and then it will all be okay again. Nothing would have changed, but you would feel better.

I keep catching myself thinking in fast motion, like a person who is talking fast so they can get the story out fast because they are running out of time.

So I am stepping outside and letting go, please plug your ears.

I will be returning to my regularly scheduled sanity in the morning.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Broken Skateboard Shelves

SweetP's room is nearly done. We decided that it was in everyone's best interest to put these boys in their own rooms. So last weekend, I painted the former guest room Cool blue. I kid you not, the color is called Cool. He moved in on Monday. This weekend, the plan was to paint a very cool clip art shark on one wall of the room in white. Except that I have come down with what we are unofficially calling the swine flu. Because that is the disease du jour. Everyone knows that, it is all over the news. So the shark has been postponed to next weekend.

Instead, I sent the boys to the mall to get birthday party stuff for sweetP's party. While there, they stopped at the skate shop. I had seen skate board shelves in the Pottery Barn catalog for a price far above what I was willing to pay. We had a plan to find a deck cheap at GoodWill and make our own shelf. But Ducky and the boys did one better. At the skate shop they asked if they had any old or broken decks. They had some and asked what we wanted to do with them. SweetP got pretty excited about them and they guys at the shop thought it was a pretty cool idea to make shelves out of the broken ones. So they gave us two broken decks.

The boys came home and after a quick trip to the Home Depot for some brackets, were able to install four very cool new shelves in sweetP's room. He promptly filled them with his treasures. They are the first things you see when you enter his room. It really is turning into a very cool room.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Broken or Out of Order

It seems like things are breaking left and right around here. In just the last two weeks.

First the windshield on the van. Fixed.

The refrigerator was recalled as a fire hazard, broken in my book. Fixed.

Then the baking element on the oven, second fire hazard in a week. Fixed. The good news, we all know where the fire extinguishers live.

The kitchen faucet. Fixed.

The airport, so I can have internet and hence email, blogging and facebook. Fixed.

The coat closet door is rubbing on the floor. Still not fixed, no time to pop the door off the hinges and sand it down a smidge.

The fan on Ducky's laptop. Not fixed, but still functional.

Blue paint spills on carpet by very cute boy. Not fixed, but will most likely be replaced later this summer.

My head. Still not fixed, still mostly functional, still working on finding a fix.

I think we are good for broken stuff. It can stop now.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Stealing Electricity

It is Earth Day. My sweetE is running around upstairs when I hear him yell, "Mommy, we are stealing electricity!" I turn the corner to see him turning off the light switches.

We were wasting electricity. I am teaching him well.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Buddha Fish

This morning I was feeding the boys fishies. SweetE's fish always seems hungry, I think it goes with being a gold fish. That and his bowl is always dirty. SweetE was hanging out with me and he asked me about his fish.

"Is my fish a golden fish?"


"Is sweetP's fish a Buddha fish?"

"No, it's a Betta fish."


A few minutes later.

"I want a Buddha fish too."

I know he can say Betta, but he insisted on calling it a Buddha fish. As long as he doesn't try to rub its belly for luck we should be okay.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Migraine Saga Continues

So I went to my two month follow up visit with the neurologist today. So two months would have been back in November, but life happened and thus it didn't happen until April. He called me on it. He obviously does not, nor has he ever had small children and a life.

I also have an inability to remember to take medication in the morning. No morning routine and constant interruptions from those small children. He called me on that too. Refer back to my thoughts on him and small children or children in general.

We reached these conclusions. The medicine I am currently taking to prevent migraines is not working. Obviously. Even though it has dropped my pulse by 14 beats per minute. I think that is a significant amount, he did not.

So, we decided on a new medicine. One that requires three visits to a lab to share my blood. Ugh. The medicine has plusses and minuses attached to it.

Minus: Previously mentioned blood draws, potential to increase chance of kidney stones, potential for cognitive issues (not permanent), possible tingly toes or fingers

Plus: May significantly reduce migraine (duh), may cause weight loss (yeah), may cause me to sleep better (always yeah)

So, I will be discussing the whole kidney stone issue in a few weeks when I am checked for any new stone formations, aka time bombs of pain.

I am well on my way to the land of the geriatric with the number of specialists I am collecting. Which would work out well since my primary switched to geriatrics and I loved her.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Where is My Dog?

Laying on the floor next to me is a dog that looks remarkably like Velcro. But, this dog is naughty. He did things that my Velcro has never done.

This dog ate two of the Easter eggs that were hidden by the Easter bunny for the boys. At least they were real eggs and not chocolate, so no vet visit was required. He did eat shells and all, ugh. Velcro would never eat the eggs even if they were on the floor. In the last 7 years Velcro has not eaten the eggs on the floor. So where is Velcro? Was he abducted by aliens? Or is this the new Velcro that feels like old age should have some privileges?

He is a spoiled dog, with his personal carpets up the stairs, automatic pet feeder, daily walks by sweetP and biscuits every day. So I hope this naughty behavior comes to a screeching halt. It is strange not knowing what to expect from him.

Update: This morning it appears that he may have peed on the floor. He has never once done that since we got him 11.5 years ago. I am going to assume that he just threw up water instead, that is less unnerving.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Because I Have Nothing Else to Do

I finally broke down and joined facebook. Because I don't waste enough time blogging, I thought I would challenge myself to more computer time challenges. But, I was feeling out of the loop and here we are. I managed to get married to Ducky again and confirmed my relationship.

Should be a hoot! See you in one cyber form or another. :)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Girl Envy/Grief

I have a serious case of girl envy.

Disclaimer: I adore my boys. I do not in any way wish they had been girls. They are who they are and I love them. I would not trade them for girls.

But everyone I know in the last two years who has had or will be having a baby is having a girl. Sure, friend of friends are having boys, but in my circle, all girls. And that is hard to take. Take a trip back in time with me.

Long ago, as a teenager, surviving a less than my ideal childhood I swore off ever having children. Until, I met an adorable little angel child who changed my mind. She was three or four, strawberry blond and the sweetest child I had ever known. She was easy and loving and never once did anything wrong. I am completely serious. I adored her and got to spend several afternoons a week taking care of her. I decided maybe children were in my future after all.

So I began to plan my children. I would have a daughter and she would be like my little angel child. Sweet and quiet and helpful. I got my grandmother's china tea set with matching little hutch. I would be ready for tea parties and dress up and crafts. I saved my practice wedding dress (sewn out of sheets before I made the real thing) to be a costume when she got older.

I knew my first would be a girl. By sheer wishful thinking, that baby would be a girl. I needed a girl. I needed a wonderful mother/daughter relationship to make up for the one that is still lacking. The ultrasound tech said boy. I didn't believe her, they make mistakes all the time. Nonetheless, I cried on the way home. After two more ultrasounds, both with a proclamation of "boy," before I gave in and accepted I was having a boy.

The day came and my precious sweetP was born and I was in love. I had a boy and that was okay because the next baby would be a girl. We knew there would be at least two babies. I adored my baby boy and decided boys weren't so bad. To this day, I sometimes get teary-eyed when I see him asleep all peaceful and quiet with hints of the little boy that he is quickly outgrowing.

So the time came when we decided it was time to have another baby. This pregnancy was different. Morning sickness. Carrying the baby lower. Deep longing for a girl. All sure signs that this would be my baby girl. The ultrasound tech said she, but then pronounced we were having a boy. This time even I saw that it was a boy. No second guessing. We would have boys. We talked about all the ways that it would be easier. I sobbed the entire way home. This time, there was no guaranteed next time. We were discussing being done at two. There would most likely never be a girl.

The next day after working the entire morning to pull myself together. I thought I was better. But on the way to school, I saw two little girls with pigtails skipping down the side walk in cute flowery dresses. While simultaneously, a song about little girls came on the radio and I lost it again.

I felt guilty. Here I had another healthy baby on the way and a coworker had tried unsuccessfully for years to get pregnant. But every time someone asked about what I was having, the tears flowed. Much, much later, when I was no longer a hormonal mess, I realized that I was not sad I was having a boy. I was grieving the death of a dream. Ever since the moment I first decided to have children, I had envisioned a little girl with pig-tails and dresses. A mommy's girl.

I had that second baby boy. I loved him upon sight, once I finally got my hands on him. They gave him to Ducky first and he barely let me get a glimpse. My sweetE is still my cuddly boy. He will let me just hug on him as much as I want. I couldn't ask for more. He is darling and sweet and wonderful (and all little boy) and I love him to pieces.

But part of me still feels like something is missing. Every time another little baby girl makes an appearance, I am just a little bit sad that there was no little baby girl for me.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Just One Question

Why is it that a child can have a napkin or Kleenex right in front of them and still use their clothes, or worse, your clothes as a napkin/ Kleenex?

I don't remember a clause in the parent contract that says, "You will become a walking Kleenex." I would be a wealthy woman if I was paid for every time I have said, "I am not your napkin/Kleenex."

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cry Me a River

At one point in my life, I rarely cried. Not that there was a lack of things to cry about. There was an abundance, but I was the stoic sort that keep things neatly bottled up inside. It was safest that way. If they can't see your pain, they can't use it against you.

Then one day, that changed. I generally blame pregnancy and hormones for the shift. I, incorrectly apparently, assumed that once the hormones regulated I would return to normal. But here we are four and a half years post baby and the tears stream freely. I cry over tv commercials, songs on the radio, stories people tell and books that I read.

I have only just dried my eyes as I finished my latest book. The tears forming little rivers as I mourned a fictional character. It bothers me how easily I cry these days. It happens at inopportune times. While explaining myself to my ________ (boss, child, husband, friend), my eyes fill. While driving down the road and certain songs come on the radio. I have soaked the cuffs of my sleeves removing tears in the hopes that no one will notice.

I just wish I wasn't quite so transparent.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Suicide Fish

It was only a week ago. The family went to the school carnival. The cafeteria was packed, it was busy and loud and everything a carnival should be. I was cringing on the inside, as crowds make me tense. But the boys were in heaven. All day we weren't sure if we would make it, sweetP had not been feeling well. But he really wanted to go, so much that he took a nap in the afternoon.

All around the perimeter there were games, there were more games down the hallways and out into the gym. I never made it to the gym [bummer ;)]. Ring Toss, Fishing, Balloon Darts, Duck Pond, all kinds of games. And food, pretzels, nachos, cotton candy, pizza, and so much more.

We each took a boy and off we went. Ducky and sweetP took off to play games, sweetE and I mostly hung out and waited in the cotton candy line. Ducky and sweetP played the gold fish game and wouldn't you know, they won a goldfish. I have never in my life successfully gotten the ping pong ball in the fish bowl. At the end of the night, we claimed our loot. One goldfish, four-two liters of Coke, one ring pop, an LED fan and two poppers.

We didn't think it would be a good idea to put the little goldfish in with our big goldfish, he has a history of eating fins and snails. Didn't seem like a nice welcoming gesture to get eaten. So Ducky put him in a cereal bowl on the kitchen counter. The plan was to get him a bowl of his in the morning. All the boys went to bed and I had the house to myself.

It is eleven o'clock and the house is quiet. I am going through the regular night time routine of locking up the house and taking my medicine. While getting into the dishwasher to get a glass, I notice something on the floor. I see the suicide fish. The fish has leapt out of his bowl, gone across the kitchen counter and landed on the floor. I cannot leave him there, and it would be better if the boys find him belly up in his bowl rather than the floor. That and I don't want to deal with the potential consequences should Velcro decide to eat him.

So I peel him off the floor, he had started to stick. And unceremoniously slipped him back into the water. Wash hands and get on with going to bed. Out of the corner of my eye, I see his gills move. Suicide fish is alive! Did I mention he was stuck to the floor, he had been there for a while. So now, instead of going to bed, I am cheering on a goldfish. "Breathe fishy, breathe. Come on little fishy, you can do it." Once his breathing seemed to be going okay, I moved on to swimming. "Come on little fishy, swim, swim, swim." Poor guy's little fin was injured when I peeled him off the floor. He could only swim backwards. I went up to get him a fish flake to help entice him to swim. Not that I eat when I don't feel great, but it was worth a shot.

I left him to recover and decided it was time to get into bed. But only after covering his bowl with plastic wrap (with little holes cut into it) just in case he got any more crazy ideas of escape.

The next morning he was still alive. Nothing short of a miracle. So while I took sweetE to a birthday party, Ducky and sweetP went to get him a bowl. He was in his new home and seemed to be swimming better. He had been named "Sparky Sparky Doom Fish."

The next morning he was dead. Poor fish never really had a chance. Sloshing home, new environment, jumping out, another new environment. He certainly lived up to the Doom part of his name.

We cleaned his tank, filled it up and headed to the pet store. We came home with Darty the Betta. Darty is doing just fine and enjoys his new tank immensely.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Back on the Migraine Train

After what appeared to be great success with the chiropractor, I seem to be headed straight back to hell. We are upping my visits again, but dang this sucks. I also finally scheduled my follow up with the neurologist, I am only 4 months late.

If you are not sure what I am talking about, just check out the migraine total on the sidebar.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


I need something to light a fire. I am feeling ever so unmotivated. I have a bazillion projects, or at least it seems. But I am leery of jumping into any of them. I don't want to get neck deep into a project and then have to drop it because life got in the way. I have been getting things done. But I don't feel like I am making any headway in the big picture. Every where I look things appear completely overwhelming.

I have this problem that when things get too overwhelming, I just shut down and don't get any of it done. I counsel my students not to get in too deep, but feel myself doing that exact thing. I have a great quote on my classroom wall, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." I just can't choose the direction to start in. I loathe to do anything half way, but getting it done the way I want doesn't seem to be possible anymore.

So what am I to do? Maybe I will put together a vote of what project I should launch into and you can help me decide. But not until tomorrow. I need to go to bed if I am to avoid the germ factory within my house and the headache factory that is me.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

He's Got the Look

Once upon a time, I got to choose sweetP's clothes. At the store, at home. I had fun picking out his clothes and enhancing his cuteness.

Somewhere along the line he has developed an opinion about his clothes. He has fashioned himself a look. He wears his look nearly every day. It looks something like this.

Jeans, preferably with ripped knees. At one time, he never went anywhere with ripped knees. "Ripped knees are cool mom."

Long Sleeve Underarmor. These were purchased to keep him healthy during soccer season. Now they keep him a comfortable temperature as he traverses the school. It is a known fact that the temperature in a school can vary by as many as 20 degrees. At least every school I have been in.

A short sleeve t-shirt. He has a few select favorites. Unfortunately, it never seems to be the one that I pick. Even if my choice was a favorite the week before. Then he proceeds to unfold and rummage through the entire drawer to find a certain one.

Tennis shoes. Always double knotted. The shoe tying is still a little shaky.

Every day of the week. Unless the two underarmors are dirty. Then he will choose a long sleeve tee to wear.

He is still cute, but I miss seeing him in a polo or sweater every now and then. Those generally only get worn when I play the "I'm the mommy card," in relation to picture day or some other special event. My little boy is not so little any more.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Back on the Balance Board

February was not my month. Sick, tired, sick and tired. Last year February was not my month either. But March is here with flowers and warmer temperatures (I hope). Yesterday, I came to the distinct realization that those pants that fit before the holidays were just too snug and giving me the most unflattering muffin top. Untamable even with spandex.

I have never been one that is big on exercise. But, I also really don't want to go buy new clothes in a bigger size. So this morning I dusted off the balance board and logged on. I was informed that it had been 35 days since my last visit. Did I mention that February was a bust. Much to sweetE's dismay, I chose free step. He wanted me to do the running. I prefer to only run when being chased, but I promised that after my step I would run with him.

So after 30 minutes of stepping and watching HGTV, I did two short runs with him. Here's to looser pants, more energy and even fewer headaches. Wii Fit, the only exercise I can manage. But whatever gets the job done. Right?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Honesty, 4 Year Old Style

Exhibit One:
My sweetE got scared of a noise this morning while I was taking a shower. So he came and hung out in the bathroom with me. No big deal, until he pulled back the shower curtain and said, "I see your huge bum." Um, thank you. Note to self, work on teaching him tact. Truth be told that in comparison to his tiny tush, mine is huge. However, I don't need the reminder.

Exhibit Two:
I was getting coffee before heading to work. It was unusually busy today, so there was a line. While I waited patiently in line, a cute little girl says to her mom, "Mommy, that lady is beautiful." Ahhh, thanks. I later learned that she liked my skirt, and that she had a skirt at home. Little did she know she made my day. Either her mom, or the mom's friend made a comment about holding her breath once she started to make that comment. Because with 4 year olds, you never know what is going to come out of their mouth. See exhibit one. I told her that I have a four year old and that I completely understood. Note to self, pull myself together more often, because I did look good today.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Two Seasons

I came to the realization today that there are two seasons in the year. I say this as I am eating a Cadbury Caramel Egg, wickedly delicious little goodies.

Today I had to run to Walgreen's to pick up Melatonin. A girl has got to sleep. On my way out I wandered down the seasonal candy aisle. Big mistake. The Easter candy is out. Someone should mention that it is February. The Valentine's candy has barely a dent in it. I have a distinct inability to walk past the caramel eggs without getting some.

I am eyeing the eggs all night. We are currently in the candy season. Depending on who you are, it could be called chocolate season. It starts around back to school time when all the Halloween candy is out in stores. If there are small children in the house, like I have, there is enormous amounts of candy from Halloween. If we manage to get rid of the Halloween candy, Christmas is right around the corner. Out comes the fudge, the toffee, the caramel corn, the chocolate.

No sooner have you recovered from Christmas, if you are lucky, and it is Valentine's Day. Sweets for the sweet and all that. (Let it be known that I gave out puzzles this year.) So here we are barely past V-Day and the Easter stuff is out. Easter is the last official event of the candy season. But of course all that Easter candy lasts until the start of BBQ season.

Once the weather starts warming up, the patio furniture comes out and the grill starts seeing regular action. It is officially BBQ season. Some might say it kicks off on Memorial Day, but I know that as soon as there is a nice, sunny day after a long wet winter, the season has started. We have 4th of July BBQ, August BBQ, mostly because there is nothing else going on in August and it is too hot in the house to even think about turning on the oven. The official end would be labor day, but with those dark, wet winter days coming, it really extends until the rains come when we are forced inside.

This revelation from someone who isn't a foodie. I am a little surprised with myself.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Proud Mommy

My darling sweetP has had a bit of struggle when it comes to reading.

Flash back a year. Last year at this time, I was bribing him to read with M&M's. He struggled and got frustrated at the drop of the hat. He cried, he made me want to cry. Homework time was a battle. In this era of assessment and benchmarks and monitoring, his teachers were concerned. A conference was called, it included his teacher (whom I adore), his reading teacher, a special ed teacher, a reading specialist and Ducky and I.

There was talk of having him evaluated for special ed. There were graphs and charts and questions. Ducky was getting a crash course in teacherese. I knew all this stuff. I was not worried about my sweetP's progress. He was making some, it was slow, but he was getting there. I was definitely not going to allow him to be evaluated for sped. I knew some of the people in the meeting were thinking, "Now, there is a mom in denial." I know because I have been in these meetings and thought those things. But I knew my little boy and I knew he would be okay.

When he was learning to talk, he was a late bloomer. Then one day it clicked and he talked, and talked, and talked. I had the feeling that his verbal skills were just a little late in blooming for reading as well.

So we hatched a plan. I would read with him every night for 15 minutes. It would not matter if it was a weekend or a holiday. We would read every day. We would see what kind of progress he made with this extra practice. His teacher loaned me easy books to use. He improved. They were still worried about him, but he was off the crisis list. We ended first grade below grade level, but better. He took a summer reading class through the school with his reading teacher.

At the beginning of second grade, he was still well below grade level. He had moved reading groups, into one with fewer interventions. I spoke with his teacher today. She looked up his reading scores. My sweetP was at grade level! He had improved from reading 28 words per minute to 78 words per minute just since September. Those gains are huge. Normal gains are closer to 20-30 words per minute over a whole year.

Tonight he finished a 136 page book. A book with a reading level for the end of third grade. A book that he would pick up and read willingly for longer than the assigned time.

I am so very proud of how hard he has worked. I reminded him of how hard it was for him just a year ago. I hope that he remembers this lesson that even when things are a struggle, if you persevere, you can succeed and enjoy them. I know that he is proud of himself. When I told Ducky the news, sweetP was beaming.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Art of Mime

February is not turning out to be my month. Last week I had the monster head cold. Sinuses so congested my teeth hurt. Yesterday I woke up with a slightly sore throat that progressed into a gravelly voice by the end of the day. Today I can only whisper.

I hope I can talk by noon. We have a field trip this afternoon. I feel fine otherwise, I just can't talk. A bit of a hazard in my profession. Otherwise, my class will be playing charades as I mime my instructions. Can't you see it? At least I don't have to teach today, only do crowd control. We are going to see a play. Our afternoon will look like this, get on the bus, get off the bus, sit in an auditorium, get on the bus, get off the bus. Not much for me to say, I am practicing my looks this morning. The one that says, "Stop this instant." The one that says, "Be quiet and pay attention." The one that says, "Nice job."

Today should be a hoot!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Signs of Spring

Last week, when I was too sick to enjoy it, there were signs of spring. The temperatures made a brief visit to 60˚. The crocuses have little flowers on them as they spring up through the leaves left over from fall. Velcro is shedding like crazy.

But then, the weather forecast for tomorrow has a chance of snow. We never have snow this frequently in winter. If we have anymore school cancelations we might not get out before July. Unless the budget predictions come true and then I will have the longest summer vacation on record. We might get out in May. I don't believe it will come to that, but still.

I am ready for the 60˚ temps to be a common occurrence. I want flowers and sun and warm rain. There is no way to avoid the rain, so it might as well be warm. I want to wear flip flops and capris and short sleeves. I want to be warm and have the door open and fresh air. I know it is only February. But, I love spring and all the renewal it brings.

The crocus above are not my crocus. It is cold and dark outside. I might try to capture mine, but not tonight.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Winter Blah

I am so ready to say good bye to winter. And the cold. And the cold that has taken up residence in my head. The cold that is making me miss my book club. The cold that the prescription Sudafed cannot tame.

I don't like to be cold or have colds. Cold is not a nice word. After 10.5 hours of sleep last night, I was supposed to wake up all better. Didn't happen. So we'll try again tonight.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Teacher Bliss

We are writing letters to President Obama in class this last week. The kids are really excited that we are really going to send the letters. It is not just another writing assignment, but a writing assignment with a purpose. We are putting them on school letterhead to make them official. I am hoping that we get some kind of form letter back on official white house stationary. That would really excite them.

In these times of prescribed curriculum and discontinuation of projects due to lack of time, it is fun to see the kids get excited about something. Last week they watched the inaugural address and witnessed history. There were lots of ideas that all of my students picked up on and were interested in. But it has been a week since the speech, it was ancient history in the 5th grade world. So today, I found the weekly radio address on iTunes. It included some of the ideas from his inaugural speech and I thought it might reignite their fire as I try to get these letters finished. So I played it for them today before we got to the business of writing. And they were intent on the screen, quiet, and focused. Ahhh, bliss.

Then they set to work. Some of them set to work. Others decided it was the social hour. Decidedly, not bliss. But, slowly they all settled in. And for approximately 90 seconds, the room was silent as every student was hard at work. More bliss. Until someone saw the look of bliss on my face and commented on it. All eyes turned in my direction and that was the end of the bliss. It was a moment that showed me that no matter where their skills or interests are, I had captured them. It is teacher nirvana, 100% engagement. It is rare and elusive.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Quote of the Day

"SweetP is a meaniac," said sweetE.

Update: The reason, sweetP wanted to play by himself for a while.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The End of my Woes?

My sister and a good friend have both been swearing by the chiropractor to get rid of migraines for years. I, however, was leery. It was another thing, like the food allergies, that my parents have been talking about for years as well. Not to cure migraines, but to cure any of your woes. Not in time to do anything about my migraines when I lived at home and had health insurance of course.

So, like the food allergies, I dismissed it and went on my merry way. I am not saying that food allergies don't exist. Quite the contrary, I know they do, I have them. The kind where you swell up and die. My parents do not. They are allergic to anything edible, breathable and drinkable. And it changes with each new allergist they see. Hence my dismissal. So to my parents, you are old and have not taken good care of yourself, you will have aches and pains. It is not because of something you ate. They do not read this blog, so I will not be in the doghouse any more than normal.

But back to the chiropractor. The other reason I never saw a chiropractor was that it wasn't covered by my insurance until October. But the ten migraines in a month pushed me to try something new. That and I hate taking pills and I am up to three each night. Any more and I will have to get one of those pill minders. Hello, geriatrics.

Ducky's office shares space with two chiropractors. How convenient. Two chiropractors that take my insurance. Much more convenient. And I stopped in when I was at his office and one could fit me in within the hour. So I took the plunge. I make a smashing impersonation of a bowl of rice crispies next to a microphone.

She works from between my shoulder blades up to my skull. I leave all limber and loose. I have not felt like that in as long as I can remember. I carry my tension and stress in my neck and shoulders. I have seen her twice a week for three weeks. And I have not had a migraine since the night after my first treatment. It was probably already in process before I saw her.

With that success, we have decided to see how I do if I only see her in a week. I will be kicking myself that I didn't do it sooner if I stay headache free.

The other funny thing, one of my students told me that I should see a chiropractor for my headaches back in the fall. I had told my students that I get a lot of headaches, so please be nice and quiet for me. Hey, it sometimes works. She came up to me one day and said that her dad was a chiropractor and that he can fix people who get headaches. I would clone her in a heartbeat if I could, she is an amazing kid and not one to make stuff up.

So a headache free me is a happy me. I have a huge sense of relief. I don't feel like my life is going to completely overwhelm me any more. I do not feel frustrated that I am missing out on life and fun all the time.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

New Best Friend

The chiropractor is my new best friend. I have not had a migraine in two and a half weeks. Yippee! I go see her again tomorrow. Gotta get up early tomorrow, so must get to bed on time.

No migraines!