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!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sleeping Arrangements

I have intended to post all week, but you can see how that worked out.

All week we have been anticipating the big night. SweetP's first sleepover slumber party. He has never, until last night, slept away from us. There has been a parent home with him every day of his life. So with a little trepidation on my part, and a lot of trepidation on Ducky's part, we sent him off to spend the night with his friends. We made arrangements that if he wanted to come home at any time, we would come get him. We didn't need to, he did fine and he is one tired boy today.

He was beside himself with excitement. We packed his backpack, found his sleeping bad and put all of his stuff down stairs. We took him to their house and without so much as a backward glance he was off. We called him back to hug is brother and tell him bye. And we left him there. He really has graduated from little boy to big boy. I am not sure that I am ready for my babies to grow up.

Poor sweetE was distraught when we dropped him off. We hadn't even gotten off their porch when he started to cry that he missed his big brother. To attempt to make things better, we let sweetE pick dinner. Mmmm, mac and cheese and french fries. We watched "Wubbzy's Big Movie," I fell in and out of sleep the whole time.

I decided that I should go to bed at the same time as sweetE. I had promised that I would lay down with him for a little bit and I was afraid I wouldn't get back up again. So, I offered to let him go to bed with me in the big bed. We snuggled in and within two minutes my sweet little boy was fast asleep. I took a little bit longer and took a trip down memory lane.

I remembered the first few days of his life when we spent our days dozing in the hospital bed while Ducky ran back and forth between our house and the hospital. I thought of how little and perfect he was. I realized that he may be big in comparison, but he is still little.

I thought back to when he got his big boy bed. Every morning he would come to my door way and when I spied him, I would pull the covers back. He would fly over and climb in and snuggle up for a good morning cuddle. I remember the look on his face said he couldn't believe his luck. I knew it wouldn't last and even when it was early I loved it. Now he just heads downstairs with his brother.

It wasn't long and the sandman got me too. I was off to sleep with a boy in my arms and a smile on my face.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


I have a gripe. There are far too many people that think that self-employed = unemployed. That people who are self-employed are available any time of day to collect packages, hand over keys and take care of other things that the working people can't be home for. That standard also of applies to people that "work" from home, they aren't really working anyway. So imagine if you are self-employed, working at home.

Self-employed people don't get paid if there isn't work to be done. If they play solitaire or cruise Facebook during the workday, they are cheating themselves of valuable time. That is not to say that breaks are not necessary, healthy or beneficial. But the weight is squarely on their shoulders. Especially if they have a family.

And I have a rant. There are certain new people in our life, temporary thank goodness, that fall into the above category. I wish they would just move already. They are under the assumption, knowing virtually nothing about us, that Ducky is a stay-at-home dad. They have been informed that he works for himself. On more than one occasion, they have acted put out that he wasn't available at the exact time they needed a favor. That he would have the audacity to not be home when they needed a package collected. What else does he have to do all day? I think they are rude and presumptuous based on their demands for our time and lack of consideration.

We have worked hard to juggle our little family. We sacrifice a lot to be able to have a parent home with the boys most of the time. Ducky gets up well before the world begins to stir. He is half done with his official day before most people even arrive at work. After work, he continues to be available to clients, take care of our boys, help with the house and take care of our needs. We like to be a good neighbor, we take in trash cans when people are out of town. We let the people across the street know if they forgot to close their garage door. We are friendly and helpful when we can. Most of our neighbors are the same, we live in a great place. But, just because someone happens to be home most of the time, does not mean they should drop everything to do your bidding. It does not mean that we will be home all the time. Do not expect us to change our plans because you do not want to change yours. Do not complain if we have to be gone when you want something. Can you tell that I am annoyed with someone. A specific someone.

I really don't like it when people think their needs trump everyone elses. Favors should be asked, not demanded. I just don't like rude people. And self-employed is not code for unemployed.

End of gripe and rant. I feel better now.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Oh, Those Headaches

So the Advil and water seemed to have done the trick for today. But I have had a headache of one type or another since last Friday. So you can see why my previous post was snarky. I had the fear that on the 7th day of the month I would have to take my fourth migraine relief pill (oh, so wonderful prescription relief), or half my allotment for a month. Panic!

I go back to the chiropractor on Friday for a follow up. Bring back that bobble head feeling. I need to schedule a follow up with the neurologist and discuss whether the preventative medicine is working (seems not, but I won't jump to conclusions). But I want to give the chiropractor and earlier bed time a try for a bit first.

At the moment I feel decent and would normally stay up and get stuff done, but in the interest of heading off migraines triggered by less than 8 hours sleep (how sad is that) I am going to go to bed.

I take sweetE to swim lessons in the morning, so I have to get up early (6:30). Okay, some people wouldn't consider it early, but I think anything before 8 is early. Have I mentioned that I am not a morning person? So this whole bedtime thing is messing with my world. But a pain free world is a happy world.

Damn It

I am so sick of headaches. There is another one brewing at this moment. I am off to pop Advil. And pound water and hope to hell that it goes away. Far away.

Can you tell I am fed up with my own head?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Another Attempt

In my ongoing quest to ban the migraine, I started chiropractic today. Now that I have insurance that will cover it, it can't hurt.

So I crackled all over the place and left feeling like a bobble head. My head was all loose and floaty on my neck. I haven't had that sensation in ..., okay I may never have had that sensation. Of course, after a new stress at work (same person, different topic) I am back to feeling like a my head is a Styrofoam ball stuck on a pencil. I have not drunk enough water today, I did try. I have tried the stretches a few times today, ouch!

My tense little neck and I are going to drink water, take pills and go to bed. I am adding a headache tally on my sidebar. I need a visual aid to help me see progress or the lack.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Parents are Rejoicing

All over town I heard the distinctive sound of happy parents. School was back in session. Their stir crazy children were now in the hands of trained professionals. Their lives could return to their normal programming.

We will not discuss the harried and exhausted teachers at the end of the day after dealing with children who just enjoyed a three week break. It was not pretty.

Truth be told, it will be nice to be back in a routine, but man is it exhausting. Give me a few more days to get my groove back. This station will end transmitting now, enjoy the static.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

We're Back

It is back to school/work for me tomorrow. The boys have one more day, but I am back to reality. I tried to go in to work on Thursday, but the building was so cold. They turn the heat way down over vacations. Then Friday and Saturday were squashed by a migraine (a big, ugly one). So today, I sat down and figured out what in the world we are going to do this week.

As always, I'm not quite ready. But, since I have decided on a third resolution (to be in bed no later than 10:30 every night), I am off to bed. It will be fine, it always is.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Here it Comes

Last night we rang in the new year. I am not quite ready. It seems to be the theme of my life.

When the boys play games, sweetE is often heard saying "Wait, I am getting ready!" or "Don't get me, I am preparing!" Sometimes we wait for him, sometimes not. But life doesn't wait, doesn't let you prepare until you think you are ready. Life is more like a game of hide and seek, ready or not, here it comes. If I had extra hours in the day or an extra day in the week would I feel ready? I don't think so. I don't think I would ever feel on top of the many aspects in my life.

Time is a precious commodity. I need time to get things done, but that means I cannot spend that time with my family. I need time to myself, but I should be spending that time sleeping. I need to time to spend with the boys because they are growing up too fast. I need that hourglass that Hermione uses in Harry Potter. I want to be in two places at once. I want to go on an adventure with the boys while being home finishing a project I cannot do when they are around. I want some time to myself, but be getting enough sleep at the same time.

Alas, it is never going to happen. There will always be choices to be made. I may never feel ready for each day. I am a night owl because it is how I extend my day. I hope to put off the start of a new day by stretching this one as far as it can go. In the morning I am reluctant to get going because I don't feel ready. In the morning, my stretching of yesterday makes today more of a challenge.

So a new year has started. Time to put one foot in front of the other. Time to hope for the best and do the best I can. Time to not be too hard on myself when life doesn't go as planned. Time to relish each day, take time to play. Time to make my resolutions.

1. Keep last years resolution to finish stuff. All the projects didn't get done last year, and there are new ones on the horizon. Plus, when I finish one thing, success!

2. Drink water. I have been having headaches that go away with liquid consumption. I am due for my time bomb check (x-ray for kidney stones). Today I realized I had not drunk a single drop all day at 3 p.m. So I don't need to drink more water, I just need to drink some. Gotta start somewhere.

3. What am I thinking, two resolutions is enough. I don't need the added stress or pressure. I am hoping that 2009 is my year to control the migraine. So I will stick to two resolutions and keep the stress level low or at least lower.

Today has been stretched about as far as it should, I need to make up some sleep. Happy New Year!