Saturday, December 31, 2005

Woo, Woo, Party, Party!!

I tell ya, my painting of the town will be so outrageous and memorable that it will be published in newspapers all over the world and will be talked about for decades to come!! Or maybe not.

We have no parties or social gatherings to go to. We weren't even invited anywhere. It's a little depressing. I know having a baby means that you can't exactly go gallavanting off till the wee hours of the morning, but still. We weren't even asked to come over for dinner by anyone. I guess it's really not that big of a deal. I'm not a college girl anymore, who went out every weekend and stayed out til 3 or 4 in the morning. And I don't want to be like that again, trust me. I've lived the drunken haze and lazy weekends, and I filled that part of my life. I just wish we had somewhat of a social circle to get together with for New Year's.

Instead, we're staying home, ordering Papa John's and planning on playing Trivial Pursuit Pop Culture Edition. We might catch some of the "New Year's Rockin' Eve" show on tv, but if it doesn't start until 11, that's highly unlikely. Besides, I don't even know most of the bands and performers that they would have on there.

I guess I'm growing up and have different priorities. I don't need to be out at the bars and clubs to have a good time. But it would be nice to have at least a social half circle to hang out with tonight.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Is it already the 29th??

I can't believe Christmas and Mason's first birthday have come and gone. What a whirlwind! To catch you up, after my last post, we headed down to my parents' house. On the way, we hit some bad traffic, near an area where there had been a nasty accident. Of course everyone has to stop and rubber neck. Here it was Christmas Eve, and while we're sitting still in traffic, a guy walks by, apparently to check out how far down the traffic is stopped. I notice he has a cigarette in his hand. On his way back, I read his t-shirt: "I smoke, so F--- off!" Nice, huh? What a festive and appropriate shirt for Christmas!! Anyways, we finally made it to their house, in time to eat a nice dinner of roast beast and lots of other good stuff and then go to church. We went to my parents' church, which is very contemporary. So much so, that the first half of the service was a skit put on by adult members of the church. Not your typical Jesus' birth, either. It was cute but very much not the traditional thing you expect. We opened presents that night from my sister and her family. Real nice stuff. Mason got these tunnels that hook onto each other and then fold up when you're not using them. Cute. The next morning we opened presents from my parents and relaxed. Mason got a stuffed pony that whinnies and neighs, but he's not real enthused about it quite yet. Later, we went over to my sister-in-law's house, and met up with the whole famiy from my husband's side. It was nice, but very, very overwhelming. There were lots of people, Mason was tired (because he refused to nap, for fear he might miss something, I suppose) and there were presents and wrapping everywhere!! He made out like a bandit. There was so much stuff that we had a heck of a time stuffing it all into the car on our way back home the next day! Mason ate his birthday cake too, of course! What a mess! I'm kinda glad the first birthday only comes once! The next morning was Mason's actual birthday, and he opened presents at my parent's house and had MORE cake. That boy was so filled with goodies that now he's not real interested in real food. Ah well, he had a good time. Yeah, so my parents got him a tricycle. It is supposedly age appropriate for 1 1/2 years and up, but we'll see. Either way, he's not ready for it yet. When we were ready to head back home, my husband started feeling lousy. His stomach was churning and he had chills. By the time we were home, he was in bed and very much a sickling. I unloaded the car, entertained Mason and tried to nurse my hubby back to health. He really didn't feel 100% better until yesterday. I woke up a little yucky this morning, but it has passed.

So overall, a very pleasant Holiday, but exhausting. Mason's toy collection has probably quadrupled and our apartment is getting smaller by the day!! Oh well, we didn't need furniture anyways, right?

Saturday, December 24, 2005

'Tis the season to be jolly...

Fa la la la la la la la la! Merry Christmas to all!! We are heading down to see all the family in a few hours (when my husband gets off work--Target is mean like that). We've got presents wrapped and packed in the car and we're as mentally prepared as we can be for Family Time. :) Hope everyone has a fantastic holiday and takes lots of pictures. We always do! Now, if it's still Christmas and you're reading this, get off the gosh darn computer and enjoy your friends and family!! Happy Holidays!!

Friday, December 23, 2005

I'm dreaming of a WHITE Christmas...

It's not going to snow here for Christmas. Not even close. It won't even be jacket weather. Grrr. It's currently 65 freaking degrees, and it will be 80 when we get to my parents' house tomorrow!! That is not okay. I don't expect snow on Christmas, but shouldn't it at least feel like it's December, for Pete's sake?! Mason has a cute Christmas sweater with a snowman on it (you can kinda see it in the picture) and he can't even wear it!! He'll be roasting!! My husband even plans on wearing shorts while we're visiting the family!! In December--the end of December, it feels like spring!! This is not cool. Actually, it's unseasonably warm. Eh heh heh.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

In the jungle, the lion sleeps tonight...

We bought a new bed!! I can't contain my excitement, because the only bed we've had during our married life has been a hand-me-down many times over. Long story short, the bed we currently have has been my parents', my sister and brother-in-law's and his parents. Yeah, kinda gross, huh? Not to mention the fact that Max has "christened" it many times over. Yuck. When we bought new sheets about a month or so ago we decided that Max was prohibited from our room. I was so tired of finding pee stains on the comforter and washing it over and over again. That was enough to want a new bed, and also the fact that since the mattress is so old, the support and comfort ain't what it used to be. We deserve a new bed. Most of our furniture has been passed down to us. And we certainly aren't complaining or ungrateful, but it's nice to own something and know that you're the first to use it. Oh yeah, and we've been sleeping on a Full size and it's a wee bit cramped. So, today we found ourselves a nice, pretty, pillowtop Queen for a reasonable price and decided not to shop around. We laid down on it in the showroom and were sold. They're delivering it Friday and we're psyched!

And the other reference to the subject line of this blog entry: we saw "Chronicles of Narnia" today. We'd heard a lot of great things about it, but you don't get the concept until you see it yourself. It's pretty moving. If you haven't heard, there's a very strong biblical reference to the story. I won't give away the details, but the basic idea is that these kids find this magical world and the "king" Aslan (the lion) is the Jesus figure. Go see it, and you'll see. Just remember to bring tissues, or you'll end up wiping away your tears with a buttered popcorn covered napkin like we did.

Well, I'm in the midst of mopping the floor (I was letting it dry so I can scrub it some more), so I should skedaddle. Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

5 days till Christmas!!

I still can't believe it. Every day it gets a day closer to Mason's first Christmas and the next day his FIRST BIRTHDAY. That's inconceivable to me. This time last year I was very, very, very uncomfortable, fat, anxious, without a bladder and did I mention uncomfortable? This past year has zoomed by in a bit of a blur. I have forgotten what it's like to not be a mommy. It consumes so much of my life now (not that it's a bad thing, I'm just saying) that I can't remember life before.

He has grown so much and changed so much in the past 12 months. I remember when we carried him and passed him off to people like he was going to break or explode--"be careful of his head", "don't wake him", "careful!!" I remember when he rolled over and we celebrated like he had just won the Pulitzer Prize. I remember when he got his first tooth and we thought it was the cutest thing (now he has three on the bottom, and it's still adorable). I remember when he didn't fit in 0-3 month clothes anymore, and I almost cried. I remember when I refused to believe he didn't fit in his first pair of overalls anymore, and tried to cram him in them when he was 8 months old, even though they were size 3-6 months. Thank God for digital cameras, because we haven't missed a moment or memory (and if you are on my email list, you're well aware of that fact!).

I am so excited for his first Christmas. He's gonna be so excited to play with the bows and ribbons and he always loves all the lovin' he gets from family. And between the two families and the two holidays, he'll be set. I just have no freaking clue how we're going to get everything in the car and bring it back home. Oh well. We'll just take out our bed, couch, tv, dresser and kitchen table and fill the entire house with books, toys and gadgets. Such fun...

Sunday, December 18, 2005

What is this "sleep in" you speak of?

I try not to laugh when friends or famiy call me at 8 or 9 or 10 in the morning and say, "Did I wake you?" I realize there was a time in my life when I was capable of sleeping well into late day and sometimes even afternoon!! But those days are long, long gone, my friend! "Sleeping in" nowadays means that I'm awake after the sun is up. If I'm still in bed after 7, I count my blessings. Babies do that to you. When Mason was an infant and I was up with him every couple of hours, I used to sit in the glider in his room, struggling to breastfeed, and hating the rest of the world. Although I know that there are millions of mothers around the world and there were probably half that were up at the same time I was, I couldn't see that. I was the only one up at midnight, 2, 4 and 6 with a screaming banshee. So, these days, I thank my lucky stars that Mason sleeps through the night, and has since he was about 2 months old. (Other mothers scowl viciously at me when I tell them that little tidbit) I am very much appreciative of that. But, he is normally wide awake somewhere between 5:30 and 6:30 every morning. He goes down for a nap a few hours later, which is nice. I have to say that I get more accomplished before 10 on a weekend than most people do all day (or at least those who do not have kids). Take this morning for example: it's barely reaching 10 a.m., and already today I have fed Mason a bottle, played on the floor with him for awhile, gave him breakfast, changed his diaper (3 times, I might add!!), wrapped 3 Christmas and 1 birthday present, did 3 loads of laundry, put the sheets on Mason's bed (and if you have children, you know how tricky a fitted sheet for a crib can be!!), somewhere in there snuck in some breakfast for myself and put Mason down for his morning nap. Now would be a good time to take a shower, now that I think about it. I have to scatter those throughout the week, whenever I have 15 minutes or so to spare. Now, I know most families have more than 1 child (and in a few years, we will too), but I still take pride in my accomplishments. So, to those of you who just rolled out of bed, are still in your pj's at 10 and may plan to just lay around all day, I say you don't know what you're missing. :)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Stir Crazy

If you don't know me that well, then you may not know that I can't stand things staying the same too long. Sooooo, that's why my blog looks different, AGAIN. I wanted one that was wintry or Christmasy, but no such luck. So, this one was white and the little blue pine cone looking thing in the upper right corner was as good as I could get.

Have I mentioned that tomrrow's the last day that I have to forge the insanity at work for 2 whole weeks??? (this is the part where angels from the heavens would be singing their delightful "Hallelujah" song...) YIPPEEE!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

A Blessing in Disguise

Today started out okay and normal--worked with my two groups in Resource (and actually everyone worked and got done early, which was just fine with me). Then I went with the Special Ed teacher to pick up the pizzas and other junk for their party today. I started feeling a headache and even though I know better and have plenty of experience with life-altering migraines, I didn't take anything. I helped out with the pizza party and my head started throbbing. Afterwards, I went back to 3rd grade, took a Motrin, and by that point my head was aching like someone had taken a sledgehammer to it and my patience and tolerance was paper thin. Everything the kids said or did grated on my nerves. After feeling hot, dizzy and overtaken by the headache, I decided to go home 2 hours early. I took a well needed nap, then picked up Mason from the babysitter. I made an executive decision to stay home tomorrow. I may feel better by then, but I don't want to risk it and I need a day off. I know Christmas Break is just 3 days away, but oh well. Besides, tomorrow is my husband's day off, so I can get help with Mason. So, even though I wanted my mommy when my head was ready to propel into space today, at least I get tomorrow off. It all works out in the end...

Monday, December 12, 2005

One More Day Down...

Sorry about my last post. I was tired and just wanted to vent, short and sweetly. Things aren't THAT bad I guess. I am just tired of being treated like a doormat and being pulled in a million directions all the time. I just try to keep in mind that this job is not at all permanent and that I only have to make it until May. I have no idea what I'm going to do for the summer, but that's a whole other stress altogether. So, I'm taking it one day at a time, praying and trying to make the best of it. We'll see how that works out for me...

Yes, that's my cutie in the picture, checking out the candy canes on the tree. He spends a lot of time examining the tree, and the other day he noticed these really cool red and white hooked thingies that crinkle when you grab them. Thankfully, he hasn't realized that they're edible yet. He just takes the candy cane off the tree, shakes it, switches hands, shakes it again, then puts it back on the tree. Eventually though, our dog Max snatches the candy cane and chomps down on it. So much for Mason's toy. Ah well, there are plenty more where they come from.

Back to the work situation, this week is going by in a flash already. Today was a normal schedule for me, but the rest of the week will be filled with movies, candy, cookies and two pizza parties. Being in 3 different rooms means I get 3 different parties, and they're all on different days!! Woo-Hoo!! Tomorrow after Resource, we're having a party with them. We're having pizza and watching a movie. Wednesday, well, I don't know what the plan is for Wednesday. Thursday is the party in the 3rd grade. We're eating pizza and having cookies. Yum!! THEN, Friday I'll be with the 6th graders (YEAH!!!!!) , and they're having a party. Goodies, movies, candy, oh my!! I am psyched!! I am so glad the day before Christmas Break I will be in the 6th grade not 3rd. Those 3rd graders are out of control and so rowdy, I cannot even begin to imagine what that day is going to look like (loads of 8 year olds passed out from a sugar high, food wrappers all over the floor, lights hanging desperately from their fixtures, sticky, chocolate handprints smeared down the walls...)!! Granted, I'm sure the 6th graders won't be angels or even close, at least they're controllable.

By the way, Mason's getting more and more independent. He loves walking around the room, hanging on to furniture and trying to reach things and eat them. His favorite cuisine is cat and dog food, which keeps me and my husband always up, chasing him down and fishing it out of his mouth. Needless to say, he makes a pouty face and whimpers a little. How horrible of a mother I am for taking away his snack!! He also waves, high 5's, holds his own bottle, feeds himself finger foods, drinks from a sippy cup and fusses when he doesn't get his way. Overall rewarding, but very frustrating at times.

Speaking of which, he's standing underneath my chair wanting up, so I should go for now. Merry Christmas, Ramadan, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Rosh Hoshonnah, Arbor Day, Tuba Day, whatever!!!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat...

What a nice song--the goose is getting nice and fat so we can kill it and eat it!!

I cannot express how freaking happy I am that there's only one more week of school until Christmas Break! I am so ready to not go into work for 2 weeks. I am so burnt out, frustrated, overworked, taken advantage of and just downright sick of being at work. I don't feel like getting into all the details, but it's a bunch of crap, mainly the same theme as it has been for some time now. I am just so ready to go back to public school, where it's normal...

Monday, December 05, 2005

You don't see me, I was never here...

So, I'm currently playing Hookie from work. Well, technically I'm on my lunch break, but I've been here a half an hour longer than I should have. I was finished with my things in the Resource Room and didn't have anything to do until after my lunch, so I kind of sort of disappeared and went home. But you didn't hear that, okay?

So yeah, here I am. I don't know what to write in this blog, but I thought being that I'm in the house and it's quiet (seeing as though Mason is at the babysitter's, probably bouncing around happily in the Exersaucer or chasing her dog around the living room, or scarfing down his lunch) and I'm bored, so I should write.

I don't really remember last week. I worked. And I tended to my little dumpling. And I cleaned. Woo-Hoo, break out the disco ball and streamers, I'm the party animal!! Anyways, the weekend was good, that I remember. Friday I didn't feel good. I've had a headache off and on the past week or so. I'm not sure what it is and what to do about it. I really don't want to go to the doctor, because that's just a pain in the tushy and they may not even know what's wrong. But, I have that underlying fear that I'm gonna ignore it until it's excrutiating, then get tests done and find out it's a brain tumor or something. I'm freakishly fearful of nothing, I know. So, that was Friday. Saturday, I went to the grocery store with Masonpants and fiddled around the house till my husband came home. Then, we caught up on some tv shows we've missed lately (we have one of the DV-R's--like Tivo so we can record hours and hours of tv without a vcr. It's great!), then went over to visit some friends of ours. We watched "Christmas with the Kranks" and ate Chinese food. Nothing like a goofy movie and some greasy food to make an evening complete. It was a nice time. Yesterday, we dragged our lazy butts out of bed and went to church. It's been a few weeks--mainly because Mason has slept in or not felt his best. So yesterday I gathered my crew and off we went. Mason always has a good time because he plays in the Nursery with other babies and toddlers. The girls working in there always say how happy and smiley he is and what a good baby he is. That makes my day. I take pride in the fact that he's such a good, happy baby. I probably can't really take credit for the fact that he's an easy baby, but I do. So yeah, then I came home and cleaned a little and my husband went to work. I also went to Ross (what a madhouse!!) and Target. I took a soothing bath last night, which NEVER happens. That was nice, even though I could hear the tv going in the living room, and Mason fussing. Maybe I need earplugs or at the least soft music to drown out the noises. I'll look into that...

Work is okay. I know for a fact that the principal wants me to take a lead position there next year, but I am pretty set on other plans. I want to go back to public school. I want to only teach English and only see a group of kids for an hour at a time. I know she can't arrange that or promise it to me, so see ya. It's kinda funny how people who've either always worked in a Montessori school or always had their children in Montessori react to me saying I want to go back to working in a public school. You can almost hear a gasp as they ask why. Public school isn't that scary, people!! Sure, I've had students that had parents in prison, kids on birth control in 7th grade and kids get arrested for hiding pot in their Science book, but so what? Like Montessri doesn't have their share of kids with loads and loads of baggage!! Anyway, I will miss certain aspects of the school that I'm at (having 2 aides per room!!), but it's not worth the unpredictablity and the fact that I'd have to teach all subjects. No thank you.

Well, I suppose I should saunter back to work now, eh? Ta ta.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Things My Son Has Taught Me

So, as I've watched, observed and admired Mason, I've realized that although I'm teaching and guiding him everyday, he's teaching me too. Here's what I've learned so far:

1. Crying is the most effective way to get your point across
2. Sitting still is boring
3. Cat and dog food can be a tasty, forbidden treat (if you can get your hands on it, eat like it's your last meal!!)
4. Everything is meant to be touched and/or eaten
5. Watching a dog run after his ball is freaking hilarious and can be hours of fun!!
6. Screw "Baby Einstein"! The shows to watch are "Dr. Phil" and "King of the Hill"
7. "Uh-Oh!" can be said a billion trillion times and never get old
8. A diaper can hold WAY more bulk than advertised
9. No matter what you eat, it comes up orange
10. Being quiet is overrated
11. The best game in the world is called Take Off Sock Throw On Floor Make Mom Put On Over And Over Again
12. Being cute pays off
13. Every moment with a baby is a "Kodak Moment"
14. The "Baby steps" are actually very, very big steps worth reveling in, remembering and taking pictures of
15. Strangers will talk to other strangers with babies
16. Germs are something to be aware of and avoid at all costs (grocery carts and restaurant high chairs are breeding grounds for nastiness!!)
17. Binkies are a mom's best friend
18. Poop is not that big of a deal--unless it's on the baby's shirt, the baby's pants, the baby's hair, your hands, your clothes and all over the diaper table, then it's time for a Biohazard hosedown
19. It really is the little things that matter
20. It's cliche' I know, but your capability to love is much more expansive and unfaltering than can ever be imagined or described

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Gobble Gobble

So we survived a holiday with my family, and in fact enjoyed ourselves. That should come as quite a shock, if you know me and you know the family I have to work with. Any get-together in the past (which is very much few and far between these days) has usually ended or at least involved some sort of drama, yelling, sometimes crying and some slamming of doors. It has come to be a twisted sort of tradition. I expect it. So, I was very much pleasantly surprised that this Thanksgiving went off WITHOUT a bang. We went down to my parents' house on Wednesday, where we were met by brother too, which I haven't seen since I was just a few hours post Mason's birth. So, needless to say, the last time he saw me I was 50 pounds heavier, past tired, just a bit sore, hobbling around like a 90 year old woman and I was pretty much in a drugged stupor. I was a bit more coherent and vibrant this time around. It was neat for everyone to see Mason, some for the first time. My sister and 9 year old nephew live in California and even though that's not far at all from our home state, she had not yet seen Mason. I'm more than a little bitter about that, but I did a great job overlooking that, for the holidays. In fact, her son just adored Mason while we were visiting. He wanted to pick him up and play with him all the time, which surprised us all. How many 9 year old boys give a flip about a baby? But he did, very much. It was nice. It was a great time. Mason of course celebrated in the festivities and feasted on my plate. He ate everything I ate: turkey, ham, rolls, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, stuffing, watergate (my mom's specialty--pistachio pudding mixed with whipped cram pineapples, maraschino cherries, marshmallows and nuts. so good!) and even peppermint ice cream. Nana (my mom) weakened under his gaze and gave in to feeding him from her dessert plate and he ate and ate and ate. I had to finally say, "Mother! That's enough!" But it was okay, he didn't get a tummy ache or even fussier than normal, so it's all good.

We got back yesterday morning, because my husband had to work last night. But before he left, I had him drag out all the Christmas stuff so that we could get to decorating. Mason has had a good time watching it all be unpacked and put up (mostly far from his reach), and he of course gets a kick out of grabbing the pretties that he's not allowed to have, and then chucking them across the room. Good times...

Anyhow, he's currently in his playpen and downright pissed about it. Must go.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

I'm a slacker, I know...

So I was informed by one of my avid readers (probably the only person who reads it religiously. You know who you are, PBAF!!) that I haven't written since Monday. Yeah, sorry about that. This past week was crazy. I've been busy, physically and mentally. I'll try to get you up to speed.

Somewhere in the beginning of the week, we had a traumatic event with Mason. Thank God he won't remember it, but I will. Probably forever. It was his first official injury. In the past, he's rolled off our bed, rammed his head into numerous items in the house, fallen from standing position, among other minor boo-boos. But, this one was a doozy. I had him on his dresser/changing table, getting ready to dress him in his pajamas for the night. I leaned down to the middle dresser drawer below where he was laying and suddenly my heart stopped. Literally, I think it did. He decided at the moment I was reaching into the drawer, to roll OFF the table. Believe it or not, I caught him in midair before he landed on the floor, but on his way down, he scraped himself on the corner of the drawer. He had little scratches above and below his left eye, and a nice goose egg above his left eyebrow. I panicked for a second, thinking he would need to go the hospital or something. I attempted to keep an icepack on his face so he didn't end up with black eye and also to help with the swelling mountain on his forehead, but he was not having it. He was screaming, I was crying, tensions were high, let me tell you. The story ends with Mason just having some nasty looking scrapes and me having to explain what happened about 20 times the next day, when I took him with me to work. He's okay now, in fact you wouldn't even know anything happened to him. He came away from the event with nothing to show for it anymore, yet I have to live with the memory and scene of my baby boy tumbling off the dresser. Didn't I tell you motherhood was insane??

Work was pretty stressful this week, with many days being short-handed and I was expected to march on like an obedient soldier, even though the kids were crazy and I was ready to pull my hair out. By Friday, I had such a headache and stomachache that I believe was brought on by stress. Ya think?

This weekend was nice. Yesterday my husband and I went on a little date. We saw "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" and went to dinner at a hot wings place. It was so nice to get out and go to the movies. I've always liked going to the movie theater, but it wasn't a luxury as it is now. When we go sans baby, I revel in the feeling of being out and about and not worrying about my motherly duties. A friend from work watched Mason and he had a blast. She has a 3 year old little girl, so they played and took a nap. Today, I mainly ran errands and cleaned the house--which is a pointless activity, I'm beginning to think. It seems every time I pick up the baby toys and jackets we leave strewn around the house and the dishes and the mail and blankets and the other various baby stuff, I blink and it's all a mess again. Oh well, at least for a day--er, I mean a couple of hours the house looks decent.

Okay, it's time for bed. Work is near, but thank God only two school days this week!! Woo-Hoo!! If not before, I shall write again after Thanksgiving at my parents' house.

Monday, November 14, 2005

"Get up, stand up..."

My baby is pulling up and standing!!! Mason's been able to be propped on furniture for quite awhile, happy as can be reaching for anything in sight and sometimes tossing it and going for some kind of world record. But yesterday, we reached another milestone: I went in to check on him during his nap, and there he was, standing proudly, gripping onto the railing of his crib and looking around the room. I'm sure it's an exciting new view from that angle. I know at that moment I should have been a proud mama and running to get the camera or documenting it somehow, but all I could think was "Oh God, what if he had leaned over and fallen out??" These are the things that make me crazy and keep me up at night. Now, I can look back and feel glee that he's finally pulling up (since all the books that attribute to my craziness say he should have been doing this for at least a month) and making strides. Daddy had to lower the crib mattress last night though, because I refused to put Mason to bed for the night knowing that he could hurl himself out. Ah, motherhood can be so delightful and yet so frustratingly insane...

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Home Sweet Home

This is the first day I have been sitting in my house, not really doing anything since Tuesday. I went to that Learn and Serve Camp I mentioned, from Wednesday to Friday. It was pretty overwhelming, but actually a lot of fun. Going into it, I thought, "oh, it's just a camp to get you pumped up to serve in your community." Wrong. Apparently this is a statewide grant that had to be approved and put in to place by the hoitey toitey government officials. It's much more involved than I had ever thought. A Learn and Serve Grant is based on the learning aspect more than anything--learning how we can improve our community, learning what it takes to get a service project going, learning how to be a leader, learning the effects of the service project and learning how to improve it. There are actually STATE STANDARDS for this. The other teacher from my school and I had a lot of moments where we looked at each other, as if to say, "What have we gotten ourselves into?" But after many sessions of education and training on this grant, I feel much more equipped to tackle it. I'm just afraid of the responses of our fellow teachers when we conduct a staff meeting and they hear that the whole school must be involved. I hope to not be plummetted with blunt objects...Anyways, it was a whole lot of fun to hang out with a 5th and a 6th grader for 3 days. We spent a lot of the down time talking about stupid stuff and laughing about stupid stuff. (Somewhere in the midst of the insanity, our 6th grader Anthony became "Pantsony" and the 5th grader Bailey was "Hailey". Why is that freaking hilarious and had me laughing myself to tears? I told you I have the sense of humor of a 6th grader, plus you just had to be there...) That's always a good time. There were kids ranging from 4th grade all the way up to high school second year seniors at the camp, which made an interesting experience. I feared for our little kiddos when they had to participate in "team building " and "icebreaking" activities, with 18 year olds that were the size of Godzilla and their arms were blanketed with tattoos. But, it turned out okay. We brought Anthony and Bailey back to their parents unharmed and with lots of great memories, so that's what matters.

Yesterday I took my state certification tests about an hour and a half drive from here, where I attended college. I took two tests: one Professional Knowledge and one Subject Knowledge. The Professional one wasn't too bad. They were mainly situational questions pertaining to teaching approaches. It was made up of 100 mulitiple choice and 3 essays. I don't remember what the essay questions were, but I think I B.S.'d my way through them. As for the Subject Knowledge test, I just don't know. It covered Math, Science, History, Geography, Reading, Writing and even Music. I wasn't real confident on some of the answers, but I did my best. I am quite ashamed of the essay question for that test, that's for sure. I pride myself on my Language Arts expertise, so you think an English question would be a piece of cake for me. But, the question came at the end of 6 hours of testing and my brain was a deep fried Twinkie at that point. The question was: "List two irregular sight words. Explain how they are irregular. Describe an activity that a teacher could use to help 2nd graders remember how the sight words are spelled and explain how this activity would benefit them." AHHHH!!!! I couldn't for the life of me even remember a regular sight word, more less an irregular one. I took a shot in the dark and wrote the essay about words with silent letters, like could and would. I just pray that my skills came through for me. We'll see when I get the results...

Well, I have loads of crap to do, since it's Sunday and it's back to the grind tomorrow. It's good to be home.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Is it Sunday already??

It's amazing how much faster the two days of the weekend fly by, compared to two days during the week...

So, my weekend was good. Friday I was of course with my 6th graders, which is always a treat. I introduced their next writing assignment with me: a report on something related to Asia. I wrote a huge list of choices on the white board and told them that they only had to choose one and write a report about it. They would have a month to do it, and I will be explaining each step as we get to it. These kids have had 6 years of education and I'm assuming they've all had teachers that are reliable at explaining every assignment. So you would assume they would know I wasn't going to keep them guessing. Yet, I still had many of them ask me as I'm writing the items on the board, "What are we doing?" "What's Origami?" "What's Ho Chi Minh Trail?" "I don't know what we're doing!" "Do we have to write about ALL of that?" (to that one, I replied in my sarcastic teacher voice, "Yes, you have to write about ALL of this and it's due next week. And I'm not explaining anything, so good luck." If you ask a stupid question...) Needless to say, they had a lot of questions and we haven't even started really WRITING anything yet. My goal Friday was to get their subjects assigned and get them to start researching, and all they kept asking was how long it had to be and when it was due. After the storm subsided, the rest of the day went well.

Yesterday, Mason and I went with a friend of mine and her baby girl to an outlet mall. That was fun. I always love to shop (as you probably know) and outlet stores are fun because they're different and usually cheap! We went for baby clothes, since neither of them were really prepared for winter. Between Osh Kosh B'Gosh and Carter's, I did some damage and made out with a good majority of Mason's winter attire. Not too shabby. It was nice to get out and spend money we don't have...

Today, I cleaned. And I went to the mall. (no pretzel, but Starbucks. My new favorite frappucino is the Pumpkin Spice with Cream. Double Yum!) And then I went to Target. Busy day and now I'm ready for bed. Monday is so near so I should get to bed. This will be a crazy week, with the Learn and Serve camp and my teacher certification tests. If I make it through, I'll be sure to write. Hasta.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Ah, irony...

So, if you recall my advice from yesterday, I said don't call in sick to work today. And guess what? Yep, I called in sick to work today. Well, actually my husband had to call in for me, due to the fact that I was "worshipping the porcelain god" this morning. It had nothing to do with candy, I am sure of that, since I only ate two pieces yesterday (honestly!). I wasn't really sure what caused it at the time, but I was miserable. I also had a vicious headache that felt like someone was pushing my left eye in with a sharp stick. So, graciously, my loving husband stayed home from work also, so he could nurse me back to health and tend to our little one. Nice hubby. I ended up getting in to see my doctor to find out what in the tarnation was wrong with me (including the consistent congestion I've had since the beginning of time--or at least a month or more). Here's the kicker that almost brought on a heart attack: So, I tell the doctor that I am feeling sick to my stomach and she asks, "is there a chance you could be pregnant?" I say that I guess there's a chance, so she sends me on my way to the bathroom to pee in a little plastic cup and put it in the special door (I am familiar. Apparenty doctor's offices worldwide or at least nationwide all use the same system) and then she tells me to go back to the room and wait. I'm thinking she'll take the urine specimen (what a weird word for it), test it and get back to me in a couple of minutes. So, I'm sitting there on the exam table and I am waiting. And waiting. And good god, waiting some more. Would you believe I waited for 20 minutes for her to come back?? I thought I was gonna die right there on the table. I thought, "well, jeez, maybe she's trying to figure out a way to tell me that I'll be pregnant for the second year in a row". My mind started racing and my heart was beating like a hummingbird. FINALLY, she returns and nonchalantly says to me, "sorry that took so long. I got sidetracked. The pregnancy test was negative." Holy moly, man!! Couldn't she have popped her head in and said, "Nope, you're not knocked up," then gone to do whatever she had been sidetracked with?!? So anyways, that was fun. Long story short (or at least not as long), I have a sinus infection, which is causing the sneezing, dry coughing, congestion, headache and nausea. I was given a prescription for antibiotics and sent on my way. She should have added a Valium to that, to calm my nerves after the fiasco about the urine specimen, dontchya think?? And that was my day.

Side note: (I should have added this to yesterday's blog, because it relates to Halloween) Did you know that 92% of children in America go trick-or-treating? So, that means when we ban Halloween costumes in school and don't allow parties or even the mention of Halloween in schools, we are pleasing and perhaps pacifying 8% of the population? That just irks me. Sorry, but it does. I come from a generation that was not just allowed but encouraged to dress up in costumes for school. We had a parade, a costume contest and a party, every year when I was in elementary school. Hell, I even dressed up senior year in high school!! I feel bad for kids these days. Parties are practically banned in a lot of schools. It "takes away from learning" and offends 1 student in a school of 200. I stick my tongue out at the whole thing. Okay, I'm off my soapbox and off to bed.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Halloween was Tiggerific!

Happy Halloween, everyone!! It has been one heck of a day, I can tell ya that. I am too tired to get into all the details, but let's just say that my day involved making 60 "stained glass" butterflies out of wax paper and melted crayon shavings, serving food to 3rd graders at a Pot Luck, cleaning up after 3rd graders at a Pot Luck, eating loads of crap, taking Mason to visit various friends in his unfathomably adorable Tigger costume and of course taking lots of pictures in the interim. The End. I'm tired and I'll tell more later. For now, hope everyone ate enough candy to give your dentist a run for their money but not enough to call in sick from work or school tomorrow. As Tigger would say, "Ta ta for now..."

Saturday, October 29, 2005

If it's still dark out, is it considered morning??

For some reason lately, Mason has decided that 5:30 is a good time to greet the day (and when I say "greet the day", I mean start screaming like a Howler Monkey and make it known to the entire neighborhood that he is ready to get out of his crib). I'm used to him being up early, around 6, 6:30, but 5:30 is where I draw the line. Especially on work days when I then have two hours before I have to be to work, and not all that much to do. But then again, it's pretty rough on a Saturday morning, when all I want to do at 5:30 in the morning is snuggle deeper in my covers and stay peacefully in LaLa Land for awhile longer. Ah well, such is the life of a mother, I suppose. I can sleep when I'm dead, right?

This past week has gone by in a bit of a blur. I can't recall most of the musings that made up the past 7 days, but I'll see what I can do. Working in the 3rd grade has been fun to a degree, but the noise level and crowd control is a bit of a problem. For some reason, when the lead teacher leaves in the middle of the day to teach music, the class gets riled up and refuses to be attentive and quiet. I am not sure if it's me and the lack of strict blood running through me or the fact that these kids are still testing the waters and still aren't sure if they really have to listen to me and the other aide. Maybe it's a little of both. Either way, I feel bad for the teacher, because each day he returns from music to discover that his little angels have been unruly, yet again. Besides that, it's going okay. Resource is chugging along as usual. It's not too hard to teach and control 3 kids at a time, so it normally goes off without a hitch. Friday was nice in the 6th grade. Unfortunately, it always zooms by, being that Fridays are early days. But I still enjoy the day with the pack of crazies. And it always inflates my ego, because the moment I walk in I am greeted with "Yeah, you're here!" and "You're staying all day, right?" It makes me feel special. Aww nice...I stayed home from work Thursday, due to the dreaded Allergy Monster. I woke up with my head ready to explode all over the bedroom walls and I had more mucus built up than you would think is physically possible. The babysitter was kind enough to come to the house and pick up Mason, so I could rest. That was surreal. I took some meds and took a long nap in the morning. When I woke up, I walked around the house in a daze--not because of the drugs, but because I didn't know what do with myself home alone all day. I got through it though and was thankful for the time to rest and be baby-free, just for a short while. Now now, don't read into that and think I wish I wasn't a mother or that I want to leave my son on someone's doorstep, but you fellow parents understand that it can be overwhelming and exhausting to be needed and depended on for every whim all the time. It's nice to get a little break. I'm not explaining myself any further.

Speaking of my little man, he is in my lap and being a squirmy wormy, probably because he's ready for his breakfast. I shall write later. When I have time.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

My son is the smartest boy alive!!

So I was giving Mason a bath tonight and he has this big rubber ducky and three little duckies. I showed him that he can put the little duckies on the big ducky and they'll float around. I did it a few times, making a "Whee!" sound. He laughed and studied the procedure. Then, he grabbed one of the little duckies, sucked on it for a second and then put it back where it was. He did that a few times. He's learning! I am a proud mama. Just wanted to share...

My week at work became progessively better each day. The third graders are growing on me (not literally, of course. That would be a serious medical condition!) and I've got a plan to keep my days as smooth and organized as possible. We'll see how Monday goes. Anyways, I was so happy to be back with the 6th graders on Friday. And since it was early release, the day was easy and uneventful. We made a craft of either a fall themed bracelet or a dream catcher. Surprisingly, most of the boys chose the bracelet. I think it was because they saw how complicated the dream catcher was, and they knew that lacing beads and charms on a string was less complicated than most of their video games.

I'm going camping with a 5th and 6th grader. (Do you truly believe I'm absolutely certifiably insane yet?) I agreed to participate in this Learn and Serve Grant, where I am the representative for our school in a city wide community service program. The camp jumpstarts the program, where they inspire, pep you up and generally get you really excited to help out your town. There are skits, meetings, presentations and activities involving teachers and students. And it's for 2 nights/three days at a youth camp nearby. Another aide from the school is going too, which alleviates my concern of taking two kids overnight. I picked the 6th grader, who's a really energetic, outgoing, friendly, and generally crazy boy that I predict will thrive in such an environment. It should be fun. It's in a couple of weeks, so if I survive, I'm sure I'll inform you all of my adventure.

Today Mason and I went to my friend's house (the one who has the little girl) and took lots of fall pictures of him and some with her. Perhaps I will get off my lazy butt and add one to my next blog. If you're lucky. Okay, it's Saturday night and although I don't have more thrilling plans than this, I'm going to go pretend that we have exciting plans. Ta ta.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

"Tut tut, it looks like rain..."

Lots of rain in fact. It rained and thundered like crazy last night, which I just love. It continued today, which would be all right, except rainy weather prevents children from going outside during a school day. Indoor recess just isn't the same. I love being at home and hearing the rain on the rooftop and smelling that after-rain smell. But any teacher will tell you that a rainy day is a bit glum. But at least today was a better day overall for me than yesterday. I have an insanely bad headache right now, but I don't think it was caused by my day. I felt it went smoother than expected and I feel like I'm starting to get the 3rd grade names' down and get into my groove. I did, however, stare longingly across the hall as the 5th and 6th graders had a "Read-a-thon" day (laid around with pillows and blankets and read their favorite book for most of the day). I spotted some of the 6th graders in the hall or in passing and their faces lit up and they waved or said hi and that's when I missed them. I will see them on Fridays, and I have to keep remembering that. For now, I'm with the 3rd graders and it's going okay. I just need to get rid of this headache and a slight stomachache. Not a lot of down time and rest with a 9 month old that is clearly getting a mouthful of teeth all at the same time. Good times...

Monday, October 17, 2005

Can we say chaos, boys and girls?

I'm tired, hungry, have things to do and frankly don't feel like writing, but I do not want to keep you dedicated readers on hold any longer. I feel like a lot has happened since I last wrote and I should fill you in. Let's see, where do we begin? (that rhymed!! "It's so sad how they hopped on pop...")

Well, this past week was Fall Break at school, which was REALLY nice. It was a little strange to be home in the middle of the day again. I watched a bunch of crappy tv, read People magazine, took naps, went on walks with Mason in tow, ran some errands and tried to fill the day with the things I seem to never have time for anymore. Honestly, I was a little bored but also dreading the return to work. I used to like my job, but it's taking it's toll on me. But I'll get to that in a minute. Anywho, this past weekend we went down to visit Nana and Papa (my parents), which went as expected--lots of talking (which translates as my parents rambling on about family drama that usually involves my sister and her kids, with me trying to get a story in edgewise and my husband tuning it out by reading the newspaper and watching whatever is on tv), lots of snacking on foods we don't buy and the lucsious sleep I always get on their queen-sized guest bed. My parents babysat Mason while my husband and I took a little jaunt to the state fair, which was a lot of fun. There's nothing like being tossed around like a sock in a clothes dryer and eating fried foods on a stick!! (you haven't lived until you've eaten deep fried garlic mashed potatoes on a stick and a deep friend Twinkie on a stick!) Good, clean fun...

So on to my job. The craziness and lack of direction and organization began last Friday. A select few of us were required to move furniture, books, and all other school crap from two classrooms(the 4th/5th grade and our 6th grade) into a new building that wasn't even finished. No one knew what was going on or where anything should go. The new building didn't even have stairs yet, so we had to climb up into the room like hikers on Mt. Everest every time we had to drop off a load. The time frame in which we had to get everything done changed on us a half dozen times and after all our blood, sweat and tears we were told that no student could set foot into the building until at least Tuesday, due to wet cement and tests that needed to be done on the water. So why again were we in such a rush?? The Powers that Be stood firm on the decision of moving EVERYTHING, even though that meant we would be empty handed on Monday morning, when we'd still have to entertain kids, without desks and materials. I was so exhausted and frustrated, needless to say. So, when today came, why should it have surprised me that the plan had changed and then changed again and then changed some more?!? I was under the assumption that I would be in the 6th grade today, to help them maintain a certain level of sanity and to explain to them my new schedule, but noooooo, they had to go and send me to the 3rd grade already!! Patooey! That was great fun. The teacher hasn't really worked out the kinks or set up his room completely and I'm expected to teach them for an hour and a half in the middle of the day without him. He also teaches music to the whole school, so off he went and I was clueless. Did I mention that I do not do well under chaos?

Moral of the story...I'm not sure which is a more frightening and crazy ride: being strapped into some caged contraption and catapulting 75 feet in the air on an amusement park ride, or working at a charter school, for a dimwitted principal.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

We got a bleeder here!!

So Mason had to get a hemoglobin test for anemia. I guess it's pretty standard, once a baby starts eating solid foods and there's a chance they might not be getting enough iron in their diet. He had the test done when he was a newborn, and it was done with a poke of his heel. Today, he had to do it again. The medical staff decided that they would poke his finger instead, since his heel has hardened as he has gotten older and it would be more difficult. Well, apparently they didn't anticipate that he would spurt blood like a geyser. At first, the nurse had a hard time getting blood into the little vile, but then once she was done, and I was holding the cotton on his finger, blood starting spilling out onto his clothes and my hands and all over the chair. You wouldn't think a little prick of the finger would produce so much blood, but it can. I sat there, squeezing his finger, and trying to get the bleeding to stop. They bandaged it once, but he just yanked it off. After much wiping and sopping up pools of blood, the nurse came up with a plan--wrap the finger, then wrap the whole hand. So, he had a mitten made of blue bandage tape. It immediately went into his mouth, but at least it stopped the bleeding. He sucked on his mitten all the way home, and seemed a bit disappointed that I unwrapped it.

But now we know. Don't take his blood unless you are prepared for a downpour.

Tip of the Day: Don't take a mitten made out of bandages off too soon. As I was writing this blog, I assume either Mason put his finger in his mouth or the dog Max started licking it. Either way, it triggered the wound and out came the blood for another go-round!! I turn around to check on Mason, and there's blood on the carpet, on his outfit and all over him. Upward went my stress level. As I am battling my 9 month old to keep his finger out of his mouth, while at the same time attempting to clean him up and put a bandaid on his gushing finger, I am also trying to comfort him. An impossible feat, I will tell you that. THEN, after reigning victorious over the blood spatter, Mason decides to snack on his bandaid, and to battle we go yet again!! I clean him up, put another bandaid (2 actually) on his finger, and I decide to win this fight. I strap a mitten to his hand with surgical tape. I AM THE SMARTEST MOM ALIVE!! So, he is now napping peacefully in his crib, looking partially prepared for snowy weather...

Sunday, October 09, 2005

"And now, the Yak mating call..."

"Yaaaaaak!!" We went to a farm today, and no, there aren't any yaks anywhere near where I live, but I just felt like having that as the subject, as a random reference to Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls.

The farm has an annual pumpkin festival, where they have craft booths, lots of homegrown foods, games for the kiddos and of course a huge pumpkin patch where you can pick your own pumpkin. Normally, it's pretty simple and painless to find a perfect pumpkin and be outta the insanity of billions of others trying to do the same thing. But for some reason, this year wasn't as easy. Most of the pumpkins were either still green, too huge or very, very rotten. After much searching and wandering around, we found one. I wanted one that Mason could sit with and we could take pictures (of course!), but not cost us an arm and a leg (it would be hard to carry a pumpkin back to the car with only one arm and leg)! It was really neat to see Mason taking it all in. We went by the petting zoo and let him peek in on the chickens, ducks, pigs, bunnies, goats, sheep, llamas, ostrich and deer. He cocked his head to one side and viewed them with a quizzical look, as if to say, "Those are some strange looking puppies and kitties!" We didn't let him take some grain to feed the animals, because without a blink of an eye, the grain would be in his mouth and all over the place. We had some oh-so-yummy homemade ice cream and of course Mason had to taste it too. He just loves ice cream. He's definitely my son. So overall, a nice, memorable day. Hope you all had the same...Well, it is very unlikely that you also went to a farm today and bought a pumpkin, but you know what I mean.

People watching should be a sport...

Don't I have just the cutest baby ever?? Kay, anyways. So, yesterday Mason and I took a little trip to the mall for something to do (and let's face it, I needed my soft pretzel fix!). I found him the blue hooded jacket (pictured) at Gap on clearance for $7.99!! Couldn't resist, because it's velour, it's adorable and it's getting a bit chilly willy around here, especially at night. So, back to my story. We were at the mall, and my favorite thing to do there (besides eating, of course!) is watch all the people that come out of the woodworks to shop at the mall. All I can think, is "it takes all kinds." There's nothing more entertaining than sitting in the food court and watching the happenings of other people. I saw two "tween (middle school agers)" girls giggling as they climbed into the little photo booth and took silly pictures of themselves. I remember doing that. It was so cool when the tiny sliver of smaller-than-wallet-size pictures slid out of the slot. I recall the big debate on which one of us would get which picture. Then there was the high schooler that walked by, wearing an attire that almost convinced me of time travel. Seriously, he looked like had been snatched out of the punk rock era of the 80's. He had a nice spiked 'do going, a leather jacket with the sleeves ripped off, covering a metal band t-shirt, skin tight black jeans and lace up army boots. Should I dig out my charm necklace and jelly bracelets? Weird. I saw some old men sitting in the food court drinking coffee and shooting the shit. Not a real surprise, knowing the demographic of this community. On my way in to the mall, I saw more Cadillacs, Buicks and Oldsmobiles than any other type of vehicle (aside from the gigantasaurus SUVs) . I saw the pimple-faced mid-puberty kid working at the Orange Julius, just trying to earn some extra cash on the weekends, to buy himself a sweet ride. And then there's the crew of the fast food Chinese place, in which not a single employee was Chinese or of Chinese decent. There was the humorous scene of a mother and daughter in Claire's, near the ear piercing station, where the daughter's ears were already pierced and she's dancing around near the necklace rack, and her mother is nervously discussing with one of the employess, where she should place the hole in her ear. And the most touching moment was when I was getting ready to head home, and I was sitting at a picnic table outside, enjoying the sunshine with Mason asleep in the stroller. A family was walking up to the doors and I noticed the little girl in the stroller had Down's Syndrome. Her mother was pushing the stroller, Grandma was opening the door, and what I can only assume was the aunt, was talking to the little girl and taking her hand as they went into the mall. They just made me smile. Those little moments where people think that no one is watching and they are just kind to each other without a hidden motive are the times when I greatly enjoy observing others. I guess that's what makes the world go round. How boring it would be if we were all the same. I certainly wouldn't frequent the mall as much as I do...

Friday, October 07, 2005

When did we get to Disneyland??

I didn't fall off the face of the earth. I I didn't have a life threatening disease or have traumatic surgery. I didn't go on an exotic vacation or attend a work related convention. I didn't get lost and not find my way home. I did, however, lose a week's worth of time, somewhere between my parents visiting, working, tending to my little dumpling, maintaining my idea of a clean and organized house and running errands. So deal with it.

My head's been on the Tilt-A-Whirl this week and I'm just now being able to slow the ride down and view the scenery for what it is. Work, as always has kept me on my toes. For you dedicated readers, you remember awhile back when there was some grand confusion regarding my position at the school. There was talk of me leaving the resource room and being in the 6th grade all day. When I had confronted the principal about it, she looked at me like I was speaking Slavik. Then yesterday, she says casually, "So you will continue doing the resource room and then after lunch you'll be in the third grade. " WHAT?!?! Needless to say I didn't see that freight train coming. There is some musical classroom action going on at work, and one of the aides in the 4th/5th grade class will be taking a 3rd grade class after next week and will need an aide. And guess who was nominated? Yeah, without my approval or input. Apparently they wanted me in there because I was a strong and experienced teacher. I say ptooey to that! I was outraged when I heard this tidbit of news yesterday, being that I had no warning. I didn't want to leave my 6th graders. I love my 6th graders. They make me crazy and want to bash my head into a wall at times, but regardless, I love them. And I was crushed to think I wouldn't be in there anymore. Plus, what about Disneyland? I was promised a fun-filled day of weaving through a chaotic crowd of strangers with other people's children and I demand that promise be fulfilled!

After much deliberation (and a bit of pouting on my part, I am not ashamed to add), there was a compromise. Monday thru Thursday I will be in the resource room in the mornings and 3rd grade in the afternoons. Then Fridays, I will be in 6th all day. I feel like a human yo-yo, but at least I get to see my teenage basketcases at least once a week. I will be focusing on writing and Language, which is my passion. So I have that going for me. Plus, because there will be a 2 hour block in the middle of Mon-Fri where I am teaching without the lead teacher, I am getting a slight pay raise. That's something. We could use any moola possible at this point. It's a step closer to my husband not having to pull two jobs every day. So, now that I've had some time to reflect and evaluate, I am warming up to the idea of the change. I despise change as you may already know, so it's still hard for me to let go of my current situation. But, I do really like the guy who's gonna be teaching 3rd grade and I'm getting extra money out of the deal. So, I guess I'll survive.

On a side note, my parents' visit went well. My aunt got to meet Mason for the first time, so that was nice. I of course could not go a single visit with them without the criticism or "I'm not trying to tell you what to do, but..."speech, so this visit's topic was the fact that I don't heat up Mason's baby food. I took it out of the kitchen cabinet (gasp!) and fed it to him just like that, as I always have and my dad almost had a coronary. "Shouldn't you heat it up in a pan?" A pan? Yeah, I'm gonna pour a teeny 4 ounce jar of baby food into a huge pan and wait for it to heat up, as Mason screams bloody murder, flailing around in his highchair. I think not. He eat is at room temperature, so I don't see what the problem is. Plus, it elminates the problem of being out somewhere and not having a pan to heat up his food. Whatever. They're from the old school and it's hard for them to see that sometimes there are easier approaches to parenting.

So yeah, we'll see them again next weekend when we go down for a weekend visit and they have a chance to babysit. I love them and love every chance they have to be with Mason, but it still makes me tense. Ah well, you can't pick 'em, eh?

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Lions don't always rule the jungle...

So the lead teacher was out yesterday for an out-of-town conference. I thought, no big deal. I've taught before ALL ON MY OWN and besides, the kids know me and know the rules. All I have to do is follow the lesson plan and get them out the door at 2. Simple. Uh, not so much. Apparently they were under the impression that because the teacher wasn't there, they were allowed mass mayhem. Okay, maybe not that extreme, but it didn't run quite as smoothly as expected. Let's see if I can't paint a picture of my "smooth" day: we had two fire drills; one little girl was jumping rope during recess and her skirt fell to the floor (she then ran off in hysterics, hollering down the hall and into the bathroom, where another teacher heard her and sent her and her two partners-in-crime to the office. A lot of good that did. They got to "stay in the office and work as long as they wanted"); I had to collect fundraiser money and permission slips for an upcoming field trip; I had to take in a 5th grader because of behavior (he was expected to work dilligently, as a punishment. But it turned out that he thought it was pretty darn cool to be hanging out in the 6th grade class); and on top of all that, the overall behavior of the class was atrocious. They were talking when I was talking, refusing to work in some cases and being particularly loud all day. I was at my wit's end. I told them, threatened them, that their teacher would be hearing about the way they were acting and that she would be very upset to hear it. It didn't phase them. We'll see what she thinks on Monday, when she reads the note I left.

My parents are coming to visit today. They haven't seen Mason in awhile, so that's always fun. I love seeing them, but I have become invisible to them since Mason was born. It used to be that when I'd ring their doorbell or they'd come up to visit, they'd greet me with big hugs and bright faces. Now, I answer the door, and they're peering behind me, searching for their grandson. I see how it is. So the whole point of having children is so that someday they can have children of their own and you can spoil them and not have to do all the dirty work. I hope to reap from this theory someday. It's strange to think of Mason getting married and having children. It better be MANY MANY years, in fact DECADES from now, but still. I often wonder what type of man he will become. Will he be an intellect? Will he be an athlete? Will he be a teacher? An astronaut? A pilot (my husband's dream)? A lawyer (please God, if he is, let him be one with morals--not the "If you were arrested for a DUI, call Mason and Associates and we'll FIGHT FOR YOU!")? A doctor? Or perhaps a soldier? Only time will tell I suppose.

That's it from here. I'm sure my next entry will have a picture from the grandparents' visit. Ta ta.

Sunday, September 25, 2005


The fair sucked (the website lied. It said that it closed at 10 pm, but we were there at 6:30, and all the food shacks were closing up and no one was really there. Thank goodness there wasn't anyone around to charge us for parking or an entry fee) and we didn't get to eat funnel cake!! The whole purpose of going to a fair is to get funnel cake!! But ya know, if the little shack had been open, I'm not quite sure I'd want it anyways. The guy was scratching himself before he proceeded to tell us that they only had nachos and soda. Yeah, I wouldn't even trust buying a soda from him. So I guess it was for the best.

Oh yeah, and Mason's crawling. I forgot to mention that earlier today. And I'm trying not to be over excited, but YEAH MY BABY'S CRAWLING!! We're so proud. Okay, that's it.

Don't panic, I'm alive...

So yeah, I've been slacking on this lately. Oops. It's mainly because I'm lazy (if you haven't picked up on that trait of mine already), and also because I haven't had much to say. The week has been somewhat mundane I suppose. I don't know. Enough with the excuses...

I'm trying to think what to fill you in on and I'm drawing a blank. Well, good news with Mason's new caregiver. She's really nice and it's working out so nicely. She has two kids that go to the school I teach at, so I just bring Mason to work, and she comes to my class and gets him about 15 minutes after I get there. Neither of us waste time traveling when we don't need to, and he gets lots of attention by all involved. My fellow teachers love holding him, talking to him and loving on him. And the students, well, they're just entertained by something so small that makes funny noises and gives them strange faces. I just feel so content about the new situation and so darned relieved that he doesn't have to be exposed to the ginormous amount of germs and nastiness that breeds in daycares. Plus, he's with the same lady everyday and she thinks he's cute. :)

Work is chugging along and going well. Not much to say in that area I guess. So let's move on. This weekend has been busy but good. My husband hasn't had to work much, so it's been nice to have him around and live like normal people--well, live like normal people, not be normal people. Let's not get crazy or anything. We ran some errands yesterday and watched "Napoleon Dynamite". I guess it was funny and somewhat entertaining, but I don't see what all the hubub is all about. Many of my students have "Give me some of your tots" and "Vote for Pedro" shirts and I never got it. I've seen the movie, I get it, but I didn't laugh as much as I feel I should have. I'm sure I'll disappoint them. Oh well. Today, we went to do some home shopping, but it's so stressful and complicated. We're still trying to figure out how to make it happen, but I don't know. I hate renting, but at least it's less hassle. On a lighter note, we're going to the local county fair tonight, mainly to look around and get out of the house. And of course so Mason can meet his first Carnies. ;) Dinner's ready. Have a good week to all.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

It's a love/hate relationship...

Technology can be your very best friend. You can drop an email to old pal and reconnect in ways that maybe you wouldn't have before. You can write an essay or report or letter and spell check it and have it printed in no time at all. You can look up anything and I mean anything on the internet and have a billion sources to choose from (seriously. I just looked up "underwater basketweaving" and got 1,941 hits!). You can use a cellphone to call anyone, anytime, anywhere. Oh wait. Scratch that last part.

So I have never had a problem using my cellphone in our house, which is a good thing, since we don't have a landline (it seems silly, since we have two cellphones and no one ever calls us anyways!). Then, I get home from work and try to call a pizza joint (strictly for a fundraiser for the school. I wouldn't eat it otherwise, of course!), and BAM! My phone says with a nasty undertone, "Warning! Service Not Available!" What?!?!?!? Since when? I tried sending a text message and the same message appeared. What the crap?! What if I needed to call 911? That's super. I tried to see if somehow the cellphone company hadn't received a payment or something, but when I looked up our account on their website, it didn't mention anything out of the ordinary. So I don't know what to do. It's been like this for a couple of hours now. If there was a total emergency, I'd knock frantically on our neighbors' doors until someone answered. But otherwise, I'm out of luck and out of touch.

Monday, September 19, 2005

The news is out

So I told the girls at Mason's daycare that his last day will be Wednesday. They were a bit shocked but understanding. It's going to be weird not going there anymore. I worked there for almost a year and Mason attended there for 6 months. I guess it's somewhat bittersweet, but not really. I won't be sad, just weirded out as always to change.

I've gotten word that Mason's new daycare provider is very preachy and religious so we'll see how that goes. I don't mind that she's a devout Christian nor do I mind if she mentions religion to me, but I don't want it crammed down my throat. I am relgious even if I don't go to church. Some people don't think that, but that's how I was raised. You can pray, reflect on your spirituality and worship in your own ways, without stepping foot in a church. Granted, I would like to find us a church that feels like a second home as a few in my past have. But, it's hard when there seem to be more churches than there are people around here!! There are only so many Sundays in the year, people!! I don't want to take the next 5 years of "church shopping" to find the one that's right for us. Either way, I'm not a sinner for not attending church. I just hope Mason's caregiver thinks the same way. I don't want a scene of her shaking a bible over my head and screaming, "Redemption!" I know, I'm a bit of a cynic. But those of you who know me already know that well, don't you?

Work was good today, by the way. My resource kids were well behaved for the most part and enjoyed practicing their spelling words for over a half an hour. There's something to be said for that. Only one student gives me trouble and really even that isn't all that severe. I just think he has self esteem and self confidence issues that stem from his family life, which in turn diminishes his motivation to work in school. But overall, he's at least still trying. My 6th graders are the same lunatics as always. Two were competing in a round of The Quiet Game during class. It got a little old, when one had his hand up, I called on him and he tried to mouth out the words of his question. I said that if he doesn't speak out loud, I'm not answering. If you feed into their madness, they will suck you in. And I certainly don't need to advance a level in the world of insanity...

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Problem solved

So, we've decided to pull Mason out of his current daycare (for many reasons, but maily because I hate having him in an environment where he's exposed to so many kids and so many germs), and put him in an in-home setting. We have chosen a lady that comes highly recommended to us by two fellow staff members at my work. She only watches one other baby and she's such a nice person. I've talked to her a couple of times on the phone, and I get a really warm, caring vibe from her. We're gonna go over there Wednesday evening and meet her in person and check out her place. I have a feeling that it's gonna be a great place though. I just feel so much better now that we've made a decision and he will be with someone that can fill his needs with more immediacy than a full-fledged daycare can.

We've had a nice weekend, on a separate note. Yesterday we went to Chili's, because it just opened in our town!! Yum yum!! It was really nice to get out and Mason enjoyed himself too, as he usually does in public. He wanted to trade the waitress his toy rings for her notepad, but she of course had no use for the rings and he would just eat the notepad. Everything goes in his mouth these days. And I mean everything: dog toys, the edge of the living room area rug, potpourri, pens, car keys, and of course his own appendages. It's cute, but makes us much more wary parents than before. Whenever he's rolling his tongue around in his mouth, we do the "What do you have?" and fish around in his mouth for whatever object he may have found tasty. Sometimes it's just his own tongue and then we can breathe a sigh of relief...Anyways, then this morning it was so nice out that Mason and I hung out outside for a bit and I of course took a few candid shots of my beautiful baby. He loves being outside and he just wants to explore everything. And I think he's beginning to realize he has a shadow. It's very cheap entertainment. It's too bad they couldn't stay that easily entertained forever. Someday his shadow and his fingers and the dog will be replaced with much more expensive gadgets and toys...

So that was my weekend in a nutshell. (Where did that saying come from, anyways? Why a nutshell?) And tomorrow I shall try to find time to write, even if I have a "case of the Mondays" (a little "Office Space" reference for ya...)

Friday, September 16, 2005

What to do, what to do...

I am still alive and still willing to keep an active blog, but things have just been a little frizzle frazzled lately. I wrote on Tuesday, but only to open your eyes to some dumb humor. Let's see if I can get you up to speed. Well, work is work. I still enjoy it but it's still tiring. This week I didn't work with the kids in resource much, because the room was being used for school pictures. So, I've been spending more time in the 6th grade, which I don't mind at all. In fact, on Wednesday, I was able to hone my Language Arts skills and do a writing activity with the kids. It was a lot of fun. They read an excerpt of this story about a girl named Poverty that is really huge and not very attractive. The point of the story was to identify the keywords that authors use to define and describe their characters. Then, the students had to come up with a funny character of their own. They had to write about it and draw it. I love the imagination of a 6th grader. You get ideas that range from a strange looking human with abnormal physical features to superhero monkeys. Very funny. I really really enjoyed it and it got me thinking about next year. Do I want to stay there and perhaps take a lead position in one of the upper grades (honestly, I'd really only want 6th grade, so I don't know how that would work), or should I persue moving on to the public school and just teach a middle school grade so I can teach English? I have no idea what I want to do. I have some time to think about it, I suppose.

Now to my daycare dilemma. I want to move Mason from his current daycare, because I'm just not happy there. I don't think he's being mistreated or abused (because if that were the case, I'd yank him out of there so fast, their heads would spin and I would leave him with a friend or quit my job if I had to), but I'm just not satisfied. He's sick a lot and I hate the fact that there are days when there's some random 18 year old chickee taking care of him. And now they've started enforcing the policy of pre-paying the Thursday before. Yeah, that's not gonna work for me. My husband's job is not that predictable. To a degree, we have an idea what it will be like, but we're not always sure. I sure as hell am not paying for days that Mason stays home with daddy. THEN, yesterday I had a little run-in with the girl I mentioned a few weeks ago (the one I didn't feel comfortable leaving Mason with). She apparently thought I had already left, because she was in the other room and said, "Mason's cute. I didn't used to think so, but he's growing on me." Now, maybe I should have just shrugged it off because her opinion shouldn't matter to me and furthermore she's COMPLETELY WRONG. But it bothered me. Trememdously. I went out of there furious. When I returned to pick Mason up that afternoon, I actually made a complaint to the director. She said that she would have cried if someone said that about her baby and that she was impressed that I didn't go in and slap the teacher in the face. Well, she wouldn't be that impressed if she knew me, because I am anti-confrontation much of the time. Anyways, moral of the story is, the teacher was formally written up and I am further convinced that I need to look elswhere for childcare. The problem is, most full-fledged daycares around here are far more expensive than where he's at currently and I don't want him to go to any of them anyways. I have been informed of two in-home daycares that are up for my consideration. One is operated by a lady that used to work at the school I teach at. She comes highly recommended, but she's more than what we pay now. Then another lady would be slightly more than we pay now, but she'd have to take him with her to bible studies at her church and perhaps other errands during the day. I don't know about that. She seems like a genuinely nice, caring person that I would trust my baby with, but I don't feel right about allowing a stranger to transport my child all around town. What if they get in an accident? That just scares me. My husband and I have discussed the options briefly, but we don't know what we're going to do. Money is already tighter than a drum, so how do you squeeze money out of nothing? Sigh. I guess a prayer or two is in order...

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Simple humor for a simple mind...

I told you that I have a sixth grade sense of humor and here is further proof. If you've ever been on Hallmark's website and seen Hoops and Yoyo cards, then you're familiar with the characters and how quirky and funny they are. If you don't find humor in them, then don't continue reading this blog. For the stupid-humor crowd, check out , click on Animated Series and watch the 3-parter called "The Runaway Marshmallow". It's pretty darn funny...

Monday, September 12, 2005

I'm in love with another man...

He has brown hair, blue eyes, he laughs at my jokes and has the softest skin. And he looks strikingly like the man I married. I love my son. I was just giving him a bath and I had one of those "Oh my God, could I love any more than this? I think not!!" moments. I was singing "The Wheels on the Bus" to him, as he sucked on his little rubber ducky and looked curiously at me with those sparkling blue eyes. As I took him out and lathered him in baby lotion (I know he doesn't actually need lotion since he has squishy soft skin as it is, but it makes him smell so good), he giggled and babbled away, just the happiest baby ever. And I came to the conclusion that I'm the luckiest mom on the planet. I know someday we'll have another child, but for now, I'm happy and in love...

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Penguin Pilot

Just wanted to fill you all in on a new blog that is certainly worth your time. My husband decided to start his own, as a way to vent his thoughts and views on life and worldly issues. And I tell you, it's very intelligent and insightful. It makes my blog look a bit petty, but that's why I married him. He's the brains in our relationship. And I'm fine with that.

I'm sick of pink!!

Yes yes, I'm sure you've noticed that I changed my blog. I was getting bored of the pink. I'm sick of pink. Alright, I still like wearing the color, but other than that, "pink is so last year". Last night, I thought it would be fun to get pink eye myself, just so that Mason didn't feel singled out. My eye felt itchy and I did the oh-so-smart thing and rubbed it. Suddenly, my eye was really red, runny and the actual eyeball was swollen!! Yes, swollen. I was freaking out just a bit. The white part around the colored part (I'm not a natural born optometrist, as you can tell) was bigger than it's supposed to be and near the bottom lid it was a nice yellow color. So, we called on our nearby friends to take Mason in for awhile while we took a field trip to the ER. After not waiting as long as I had expected, I was told I had pink eye. Don't rub it, touch it or even look at it. It's very contagious, so my goal is spread the love and give it to my husband. Okay not really, but I wouldn't be surprised if he got it. So yeah, I'm sick of pink--Mason getting pink eye twice, me getting it and staring at an all pink blog page was just too much. Plus, I thought the new background was more Fallish (I realize as an English teacher and an educated person that "Fallish" isn't a word, but too bad! So thppt to you!!). Hope you like the changes. Ta ta for now.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

All is well

So, Mason's eye is looking better and we pray that it stays that way. Yesterday, I stayed home with him and plugged him full of eye drops (well, not plugged, but battled him a bit). It was a worthwhile day off too, which was nice. I organized some bins of teaching stuff (specifically the Language Arts stuff, because the 6th grade teacher really wants me to take over that subject, which is perfectly fine with me. It's better than math, because that would be a backwards step for those kids...), picked up some fall/winter clothes for Mason (since it's already starting to cool down and he's quickly growing out of his clothes) and did some other shopping. It was nice to have an actual week day to be out and about. And I didn't feel guilty being out, since it wasn't like Mason was sick nor was I.

Today, we enjoyed the beautiful weather (I'm so ready for the summer heat to be over and done with and the nice cool fall weather to take its place!) by going to the downtown square. Mason loved rolling around in the grass and watching the people that walked by. It was his first dirty feet moment. He was reveling in the exciting feel of wet grass between his toes, so his little toesies got nice and greenish brown. He's never really gotten dirty, but it was the first of many many moments to come, I'm sure. At least it was somewhat easy to clean him up, as opposed to future endeavors that might require a power washer and sander...

Thursday, September 08, 2005

This has been the greatest day ever!!

(Please re-read the title with great sarcasm) It has NOT been the greatest day ever. Not even close. First, I wake up around 5 this morning and can't get back to sleep. I can't stop sneezing. So I decide to shower. I almost had a very painful fall when getting in, because my feet were lotioned and slick and my one foot slipped in the shower and I had to grab onto the shower door. That was a close one. When I got out, my husband and Mason were still sleeping, which meant that I had 15 minutes to get myself and baby ready to be out the door. And can you believe it? I made it. I had Mason dressed and fed and myself dressed in time to get him to daycare and myself to work without being late. I'm amazing.

Then I get to work and there is a sign up that says that we're being audited so we can't use the teacher's lounge at all today. I guess the auditors were going to set up camp there. This means no copy machine, no laminator, no microwave and no storing lunch in the fridge. That means no making copies for next week or eating lunch in the teacher's lounge. Nice. Then, as I am working with my resource kids, I am informed that someone needs the resource room to test certain students for Speech. With no extra classrooms, I am forced to take the kids outside, where it's really windy and sunny. But there is a God, because the kids were still able to concentrate and complete their work. One girl even got 100% on her spelling test, which in itself is a gosh darn miracle!! I was so proud. THEN, my lead teacher in 6th needed to leave because her son in Kindergarten was throwing up. She gets back and there's a phone call for me from Mason's daycare. He has pink eye. Again. I was so frustrated, I was in tears. I began to feel so guilty that he is a daycare baby. If he was staying home with me everyday, this wouldn't happen, especially not twice in two weeks. So, I had to leave work and get him.

I managed to get him in to see his doctor today and she confirmed that it is pink eye again. Arrghh! He can't return to daycare until Monday now. Great. So, I had to call work and tell them I won't be there tomorrow. Of course my son comes first, but it's hard to call in to work to tell them your son is sick (or has pink eye for the second time, in my case). The boss is understanding, but makes me feel a bit guilty that I take him to the daycare that I do. Like as if they are mistreating him. She suggested this at-home daycare that a lot of the teachers use. I may look into it and see how much the girl charges.

I hate not having many resources here. Don't get me wrong, I think it's definitely a good thing that neither set of parents live in town(because distance makes the heart grow fonder, does it not?), but in cases like this, it makes it difficult. And our only emergency contact here has her own little girl (Mason's future girlfriend), so she won't want to expose her daughter to pink eye.

I love teaching and working with kids. I miss it terribly when I don't teach, but I really really wish I could be a stay-at-home mom until he's at least 3 or 4. But unfortunately, our funds don't stretch that far. They are already pulled to the max as it is. We have three jobs between us and it's still painful to eat fast food or get gas for the cars (Good God, when will that craziness end? I should just start walking to work!!). I guess it'll all be okay and we'll survive. Pink eye's certainly not the end of the world. It could be a lot worse. We could be living in New Orleans right now.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Very sad

Okay, you probably read that and thought, "Oh no! What happened? What on earth could be so sad that her title would be 'Very Sad'?" Well, calm down! For Pete's sake, calm down!! Really, the "very sad" thing is just that a) I finished The Half-Blooded Prince and b) it ended very sadly. I won't give away the ending just in case you are currently reading it or want to, but it's just so darn sad! Plus, I always feel a little down when I finish a book because it's that "now what?" feeling, but I'm glad I finished it and found out who the Half-Blooded Prince is. (they keep you guessing until the very end!) So yeah, that's the sadness...

Not much else to say. My boss is very picky about certain things and it's pretty silly. She wants you clocking in AT LEAST 5 minutes before your scheduled time, I guess because she feels you cannot be working at 7:30 if you're clocking in at 7:30. Stupid. We have a staff meeting about that and other things on Friday and we'll see what hits the fan.

It's nice that we didn't have school on Monday. This week is going by so much faster.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Happy Labor Day!!

As I mentioned in my previous post, we haven't had a real exciting weekend, but it's still been nice. Today, we decided to barbeque some skewers, since it was a nice day and Labor Day, afterall. They were mighty tasty, I have to say. While hanging out outside, Mason took a ride in his red wagon (hence the picture), which he loved. He just adores watching the neighbor cats scurry away from him and he often attempts to snatch the limbs off the bushes that line our house. I have a feeling he's gonna be an outdoorsy kind of kid. That's great, because I will not allow him to be raised by the television and video games. But I do fear the day he proudly shows off some spider or snake or something else slimy and nasty, expecting me to be impressed and pleased. No thank you. No eight-legged or no-legged creatures if you please.

Later today, I went to the mall to return that oversized shirt I mentioned in my last entry. As a side note, I like to think that I am the type of person that tries to find good in most people and assume that most people have good intentions. In fact, in my marriage, I tend to be the one who says, "No honey, I don't think they meant it that way," or "I'm sure they did it on accident," etc. I want to believe that people are mainly good and that they just make mistakes or screw up now and then. But today, I started to lose my faith in humankind. The drive to the mall was the first incident today that proved against my people-are-good theory. I had two people cut me off and another tailgate me in a 2 mile stretch of highway. Then in the mall parking lot, someone stole the parking space that I was clearly waiting for. When I got into the store to return the shirt, I noticed a pair of shoes that I wanted to try on. (very cute tan and brown dressy Mary Janes) The lady that helped me the other day was there again, and I think maybe she was still fuming from the fact that I had tried on a million items and only purchased one. Anyhow, I asked her if I could see them in a size--I didn't get to finish my sentence, because she cut me off, saying, "Those are the only ones we have, and they're 10's." I said "Okay, then I would like to try those on." And she said, "You can try that ONE on. (meaning the one that was on display. Yes, only one shoe. Gee, thanks.)" So, I did and they were too big, so I put it back. I settled on getting a pair of jeans in trade for the shirt that didn't fit me. When I told her I needed to return the shirt, she proceeded to interrogate me on my decision, "Do you want another size?" (no, the smaller size doesn't fit across my chest) "Have you thought about just putting a tank top underneath and not buttoning it?" (yes I have, but I don't want to) "Do you want another shirt instead?" (uh no, I want these jeans!) Arrgh! What is so hard about returning something and getting something else? How many buttons would she really need to push on the damn cash register for this transaction?! Holy moly! Finally, she sighed and made the exchange with some obvious regret. Whatever lady, just give me the frigging pants and let me go! So, after walking out of there thinking I should have complained to her supervisor (but with my luck, she might have been the supervisor), it crossed my mind that maybe people aren't as good as I had hoped. I don't know. Maybe I'm just having one of those days.

Mason is sounding for me. Have a nice short week.

Sunday, September 04, 2005


I'd like to tell you that I have not been able to write entries for this blog because I've been out galavanting around town, or on some family camping trip, or skiing and boating on a lake or barbequeing with friends to celebrate the Labor Day weekend. But then I'd be lying. The sad truth is that I've just been tired and frankly, lazy to write. Yes, I'm enjoying the idea that I don't have to return to work until Tuesday, I can't say that I've done much thus far. Yesterday we went to the mall for lunch at Honeybaked Ham (yum yum!) and it hailed. It hailed so hard that my husband and I could barely carry on a conversation across the table from each other. Mason didn't seem to mind nor care. He just smiled gleefully at the strangers in the restaurant and played with his five-point restraint harness on his stroller. Then, we went into the mall and I attempted to shop a bit. I was given a giftcard for my birthday for a clothing store that I've never shopped in before. The clothes looked cute and very hip for work. But, the prices are a little hefty and the $35 card only got me a pink sparkly dress shirt, that I'm actually returning. The sleeves are too long and the waist makes me look pregnant again. Why did I buy it, you ask? Well, because I tried about 5,000 items in the store, frustrated at the way they fit. Some were surprisingly big (I always go for the bigger size in stores I don't know, just in case) and others were made for Lindsay Lohan. And my husband was wheeling Mason around the mall all the while and they returned, assuming I was done. So, I grabbed the bigger size of a shirt I had liked and slapped it onto the register counter. I was ready to get out of there, just out of pure frustration and exhaustion. I hate shopping without another female who's patient and also struggling with size issues. Anyway, I then treated myself to a Moolatte' from Dairy Queen and People Watched for a bit. I thought it would be oh-so-cute to offer Mason a smidgen of frappucino and whip cream from my straw. He liked it, he liked it too much. Every time I tried to take a drink, two little pudgy hands reached out and tried to snatch it from me. So we cut him off before he became a caffeine addict at the ripe age of 8 months and we'd have to start pouring shots of espresso into his bottles...Last night we went this hole-in-the-wall pizza place for the first time and it was darn good. It's always scary to venture into the unknown territory of new restaurants, but we were pleased. We topped off the night by watching "Guess Who" (with Ashton Kutcher and Bernie Mac), which was funny. A good day overall.

Today, we haven't done much so far. We ate breakfast and went on a walk around the neighborhood with Mason and the obese dog Max. That is quite a feat. We are convinced that Max has severe learning disabilities, because even though he's three, he isn't all that potty trained nor knowledged on how to act on a leash. He thinks that being on a walk allows him to sway from one side of the street to the other, peeing on every gosh darn bush, tree, branch, leaf, fly and molecule that he passes along the way. He also thinks that he's participating in the Heavyweight/Fat Small Dog Division of the Sled Dog Races, because he insists on running to the extent of his leash and pulling us along. It makes for a tiring walk around the block. Mason on the other hand loves to just take in the scenery and watch the world go by. He jabbers along, talking to the birds, houses, cars, trees, clouds and bugs that he happens to notice. The cutest part is that he loves to relax and prop his tiny feet onto the tray in front of him, looking like a miniature lounge lizard. What a life...

So, that's it. No parties, no family cookouts and no social events to speak of. Just me and my little family doing what we do.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Oh, the baggage these kids carry...

The student I have previously mentioned that had the issue with his pants ripping when he passed gas has had a lot of issues lately. I don't know if he's just really unlucky or trying to get attention or not cared for enough at home. It's hard to say. Today, he ran to the bathroom twice, stating that he needed to throw up. Yesterday, he had an emotional breakdown when another student made fun of his math skills. Two days before that, he came hobbling up to me on the playground, with a twisted ankle. His eyeglasses broke one day during class, and he had no way of repairing them. Another day, he brought a can of pork and beans for lunch. A can. Without a can opener. And the can looked like it was from 1970. The label was so faded and peeling that it made me wonder how long that can had been in his family. And his drink that day was a tea bag. Oh and he has asthma but never has his inhaler. I'm just saddened by this poor boy. And ontop of all this, he has serious attention and academic problems, perhaps associated with his ADHD. His handwriting looks like that of a first grader. He can't spell nor can he write in cursive or perform most math skills. We are in the process of getting him assessed for special education, but that wouldn't fix it all. I don't know what the solution is, but I just wanted to share the baggage a child can carry around at such a young age. And he's actually a pretty minor case, compared to others I've seen in the past.

I'm off to read Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (the latest book), because I've been slacking lately, and I love those books!! Nighty night.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

My son's ready to eat steak!!!

Okay, not really, but he's on his way. I've been trying Mason on this baby finger food called Gerber Fruit Puffs (they're these little cereal-like stars that dissolve in their mouth--weird, I know. But it's supposed to prepare them for chewing) and he's getting the hang of it. I introduced them to him yesterday with his dinner (Sweet Potatoes and Turkey--Yum!). It was pretty humorous to watch him try to manipulate these little things. He barbarically grappled at one on the high chair tray and stared at it through his tight fist. Then, he slowly tried to stuff it into his mouth, but darn that fist for getting in the way! He sucked on his fingers and palm, until he eventually got that little sucker into his mouth. He mouthed it quizzically, slobbering and babbling about it. "What in the world are you trying to feed me, woman?" is what I truly think he was saying in babytalk. Then, once he swallowed it, he smiled and grabbed for another one. I guess he decided that the fruit puff was edible and perhaps somewhat entertaining. Tonight, I tried again. This time, he was much more eager and interested in actually eating them. Like a pro, he snatched up one in each fist and proceeded to alternate between Left Fruit Puff and Right Fruit Puff (testing if they tasted the same?), seeming fully enthralled by this new texture and experience. I think after a week or so of practice, he'll begin to recognize the container with excitement. I shall keep you updated...

On to my ever-so-changing teaching position. Now, I'm staying in the resource room. For now. Until things change. And who knows when that will be. Yesterday I was told that things were DEFINITELY changing, and that I would most likely be removed from the resource room. Then I get to work this morning, and KABLAM!! nothing is changing and the principal acts like she'd never heard this issue before. Sigh. I guess I should just learn to go with the flow, eh? Ah well, it's Mason's bottle time and his patience is wearing as thin as a Kleenex. Will write tomorrow.