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.