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.