Monday, January 30, 2006

Busy, busy, busy...

This weekend was a lot of fun. On Saturday, we went down to visit family. First, we hung out with my parents for awhile, and showed off Mason's circus trick of walking around. He gets so excited when he walks. He toddles, hands up near his face, giggling and heading towards some destination like it's the most interesting thing ever. Of course the cheers from his audience just encourage his happiness. It's so darned cute. Anyways, then we went over to my husband's sister's house for a surprise party for his aunt. She left today for Uganda, Africa for like 2 or 3 years, for a Christian mission through the Salvation Army. It was a good yet bittersweet time. His aunt was very surprised and so happy to see everyone. We all helped make a scrapbook for her, each of us making a page of sentiments and pictures for her to read when she's homesick. We put Mason's hand and footprints on a page along with some pictures of him. If that doesn't melt her heart, nothing will. Then yesterday we spent some more time with my parents before heading back home. It was a nice trip.

Today was not so relaxing and joyful. The other aide in the 6th grade had an aunt pass away last week, so she'll be out until next Monday. The Powers That Be knew this on Friday of last week. I asked TWICE what the plan was. I was told there wasn't a plan. Big surprise. This morning, I asked again. Again, I was given an unsure answer, but they said they thought one of the preschool teachers was supposed to cover in there. The next thing I know, I run into the principal in the hall, and she is informing me that it's my job to cover in there when the other aide isn't there. That's funny, since no one told me that. Big surprise again. That really pissed off the special ed teacher, because that means I can't do Resource. How frustrating. And I have no clue how we're going to do our lunches tomorrow, since it mixes up the plan. I guess we'll figure it out when it happens, as everything else goes at that place.

Oh well. The school year's almost over, right?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Just like the weather around here...

If you don't like the way things are going at the school I'm at, wait 5 minutes and it will change. Yesterday was crazy. And I mean insane. A little lightbulb finally went off inside our lovely principal's head and she realized that perhaps the 6th graders shouldn't be in the smallest room in the school. Gee, she's a genius! How come no one else thought of that? Oh wait, they did. So yeah, even though those kids were moved in and stuffed into the smallest room in the building just a few short months ago, they were uprooted once again and moved back into their original room. Although I think this was a long overdue, well deserved move, I certainly think it could have been planned a teensy bit better. The plan was that were wasn't a plan. Deja vu of when they moved out of that room. Just like the first move, there were people scattered and wandering all over the place, trying to figure out what to do with everything and who should do what. Not to mention, yesterday the 6th graders were wound up like it was the last day of school. Luckily because most of them are just dying for an opportunity to help and feel important, a lot of them were recruited to carry stuff back and forth to the 2 rooms. That sure helped. I just about fainted when I heard the principal had actually hired two real movers to relocate all the big furniture. That was a huge burden off the staff's shoulders, including mine. I had assumed I would have to help with this move as I had the first time, but thank the Lord I was wrong. So it was fun being an observer during this whole fiasco. Today though, you wouldn't even know they just moved back in yesterday. It looks like a classroom and the kids are at work. Pretty impressive.

Also yesterday, I found out I'm getting backpay for the Learn and Serve Grant, since we hadn't seen a cent since it started months ago. That will be nice. And on another note, I get to be with the 3rd grader for an hour and a half every day, BY MYSELF, while the other aide is off working one-on-one with some of the slower learners. Yeah, that's not good news. Some of those kids are such tyrants. I am really not looking forward to that. And the other interesting event from yesterday: one of the 6th graders turned in a report on Iraq to me (two weeks late, mind you), which was WORD FOR WORD from his internet resources. The weird thing was that his Rough Draft was only partially like that. But when he typed up his Final, he decided to just copy his resources. Did he really think I wouldn't notice? I'm pretty sure a 6th grader wouldn't have near the vocabulary of the intellect that typed up that website. After much debate with the principal, the student is getting an opportunity to rewrite it. It was suggested that he get a "C" for effort, which I completely disagree with. I had some "A" papers that were turned in almost as late, and they got a "D". I don't think he should get a "C" for a late paper that wasn't even in his own writing!! The special ed teacher is going to work with him until it gets done.

Mason fingerpainted last night. We did his handprints and footprints for his great Aunt that is moving to Africa for 2 or 3 years in just a few weeks, and then we let him have at the paint. At first, he didn't know what to do. Then, he reveled in the gooeyness and smeared it all over the place. Thank God it's non-toxic, because he of course had to taste test it.

What a day.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Sunday nights are always a bummer

When Sunday evenings come along, I always get that "uggh" feeling. You know, when you realize that your weekend is just about over and you didn't get to have as much fun or rest as much as you had wanted. It just goes too quickly. Especially when you're sick. Well, I have felt better today, but still. I took some Nighttime Sinus stuff last night, which worked like a charm. Today, I'm still a little stuffy, but not as bad as yesterday. In fact, I even managed to take Mason on a stroller trip through the mall. The stores obviously conspired together and had grand sales today. I walked out of the Gap Outlet store with two shirts and two pairs of socks for Mason, even though he didn't really need them. I also got some cute stuff for my cousin who's having a baby in July. While there, I saw two of my 6th graders (who just adore Mason, so they oohhed and aahhed at him), one of the fellow aides at my school, and the aide that left early on in the year because she was pregnant (remember her? she was the one who just stopped coming and we were worried for awhile). She had the baby like a week ago, and had the little guy already out and about at the mall. I just don't get that. I mean, maybe I've become a paranoid germaphobe since becoming a mom, but I just don't see a reason to expose a newborn baby to the nasty germs and bacteria, especially during RSV season. I see mothers with babies that couldn't be more than a week or two old out at Target or Walmart or the grocery store and I just don't get it. It's one thing if you're a single mom who has no one else to get you diapers or formula, so you have to go. But, to just go sauntering around the mall or store because you want to go shopping with a 10 day old, just isn't right. That poor thing has a weak immune system as it is. Why would you want to jeopardize their health? Maybe that's just me.

On another note, I didn't tell you: Mason's trying to walk!! He's taken like 5 steps at a time, before he gets overly excited and leaps face forward towards you. We're so proud. I don't think it will be long before he is running at full speed.

P.S. Mason likes yogurt. A lot. And he likes to wear it.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

All right germies, you've had your fun...

Just when I think, "hey, I actually feel pretty healthy," BAM!! there goes another nasty bug, invading my immune system. I had a scratchy throat yesterday and was a little congested. Today though, yowza. I'm as down for the count as I can be with a toddler (that's still weird to say. I want to call him a baby, but he's trying to walk, and he eat real people food, so I guess he's not) in the house. I'm sneezing like I'm allergic to air, my face feels like some WWF guy punched me, my teeth and ears ache, I have no energy, kinda feverish and basically feel like doody. Yippee. Luckily, Mason took a decent nap this morning, which gave me some time to bury myself in blankets on the couch and nap a little myself. My husband should be home from work soon, so that's a good thing. Anyways, Mason is not having the fact that I'm sitting here typing and he's ALL the way down there on the floor, trying to entertain himself. So, bye.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Is it winter or spring? I'm confused...

So it started out not too cold but grey out this morning. Then it cleared up and the sky was, well, sky blue. Then, clouds rushed in and it snowed. Yes, snowed. And it snowed like it was the beginning of a blizzard. The wind blew, the sky was a blanket of white-grey and it was freakin' freezing, Mr. Bigglesworth! The 3rd graders were nutjobs. They kept leaping out of their seats and shouting, "It's snowing!! Do you see the snow? Oh my gosh, look at the snow! Can we go play in the snow?" It was a bit crazy. And the classroom doesn't have blinds, so you can't hide the snow from the loopy children. Yeah, so then it cleared up and the clouds drifted and it was clear as a summer day out there. No summer temperatures, but still clear. The kids relaxed and somewhat returned to work. Then, as they were being released at the end of the day, guess what? The snow was back!! They were ecstatic! Of course there were excited comments and predictions of a Snow Day tomorrow. Yeah right. None of the on-again-off-again snow was sticking. And to cap off the day, by the time I was heading home at 4:15, the snow was gone and the sun was out and there were no signs of winter. Good lord, what in the tarnation is going on around here? If it's gonna snow, just snow!! We get excited that it finally snowed around here and then it stops. Mother Nature is such a tease...

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


So, this past weekend we were very brave and took Mason on a 4 hour trip to see his grandparents. It went rather smoothly, considering. He lost his patience about 2/2.5 hours into it, but we were able to keep him pretty distracted and entertained with snacks, a sippee cup of juice, toys, books and making funny faces at him. And of course, there's the beloved binky. Without it, I think our lives would cease to exist. Or at least our sanity.

It was a nice time, relaxing and visiting with my husband's parents. They of course love to have us visit, since it pretty much never happens. And Mason was doted on and loved on like there's no tomorrow. The house was filled with fun, new temptations and things to grab at. A baby's playground. We went to a local park (where the picture was taken), went to lunch, played video poker at their house, played Cranium, and my husband and I were even able to sneak in a date night. We went to the movie theater and saw "Hoodwinked", which was cute, but not worth $8.50 a piece!! We also ate at one of my favorite restaurants, Romano's Macaroni Grill. I just love that they give you crayons and a paper tablecloth to draw. And their bread is pretty addicting too. Anyways, a very good, relaxing, fun weekend overall. We were kinda melancholy to leave yesterday, but it had to happen. Now, it's back to our regular lives and Mason only has us to give him attention!! Poor baby!!

Thursday, January 12, 2006


I hate being sick. It seems to be a common occurence around here. If I'm not sick, then my husband is. He's been pretty yucky the last couple of days, and last night I started feeling like doody. This morning, I woke up with achy legs, stuffed up nose and a sore throat. Yippee. Now, I'm still somewhat congested, achy and just generally drained. Gotta love it. My husband's on his way home from Safeway, bringing me some soup. So, hopefully it will help regenerate me to some degree and I can tackle the last few hours of work.

Speaking of work, my boss now knows that I may not be there next year. I'm not trying to deceive her, I'm just afraid to burn bridges. I told her I'm getting my certification and may return to middle school, where I can teach only English and to older kids. She offered me the 6th grade for next year (the teacher is moving), with a decent pay package. It's tempting, but it's really not much more than what I can make in public school. I'm not for sure about what I'm doing, but I'm still leaning towards returning to what I know.

Well, the dog needs to go out and I don't feel like typing anymore. Ta ta.

Saturday, January 07, 2006


We went to this special church service last night. They only hold it once a month, and it's quite different than the regular Sunday morning service. They have it at this other building and it's much more youth-oriented. There's live (very loud) music, this little movie (a mini-series of sorts, very modern. Basically about how easily people can be deceived and get off the right path) and then the youth pastor speaks. The funny thing is, I went to high school with the guy. He was a bad boy then--into drugs, parties, drinking and hanging with the wrong kids. I guess somewhere between then and now, he found God, married his high school sweetheart, had two kids (another funny thing--his daughter is in 1st grade at the school I work at) and now ministers at the church. His sermon was about how Adam and Eve lost their way and were deceived, and how easily people can think they're making the right decisions, when really they are being blinded by false pleasures. I was rather moved by the whole thing. I've considered myself a Christian my entire life, but it hasn't been until my later adult years that I have really established a relationship with God. Then, Mason's babysitter invited us to her church and we've been trying to go as much as possible. Their entire family is such a wonderful influence in our lives. But the service last night just got through to me on a whole new level. I even got a bit teary-eyed. It was a nice feeling--a wake up call to remind me that I need to strengthen that relationship with God. So, that's my newfound goal...

Another (much less major) change: I got my haircut today. I needed to at least get a trim, but I decided to refresh myself and get some inches off. It's pretty short, but much healthier. It's just long enough to get most of it pulled up.

And change #3: Today is my husband's last day (hopefully forever) from Target. He has 2.5 hours to go, and I'm sure he's chomping at the bit. It will be so nice to have him home every night and hopefully less disgruntled. If he can make up the extra hours at his main job, he won't have to return at all. I think that shall be on my prayer list...

So, a new year and new changes. I think they will all be for the better. If only I can stick with the watching what I eat thing, we'll be all set...

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

It's Friday, right?

My boss really thinks I'm returning next year. I never said I was, because she's never asked my plan. She's just assuming I want to work in that nuthouse past May. Yeah, I don't think so. Even if she could promise me 6th grade, I wouldn't stay. I've listed the reasons before, so I shall not repeat myself. But apparently there really isn't anyone else to take over the Special Education department of the school next year, because the current head of the department is pregnant and due in August and the main aide will only be part time next year. So guess who's in line to take over? That would be me. I've heard "Princess Lionhead will do it" more than once come out of my principal's mouth, when talking to someone besides myself. She has never cleared that with me. I suppose she just thinks because I have the education, training and experience that I absolutely love working there and would have no problem taking over those responsibilities. I know I should be upfront with her, and just admit that I have plans to pursue "other endeavors", but I'm real afraid to burn bridges. What if I can't get a middle school English teaching position next year? That's definitely possible, especially in such a small town. I'm hopeful though, since I should be applying sometime in the spring. That should help me keep my options open. Or at least I hope so. This is why I am fearful of giving my principal a definite letter of resignation this early on. As scary as it sounds, I'd rather teach there than take a 2nd grade job somewhere else. At least where I'm at now, I'd have 2 aides if I took a regular ed position. I don't know. I just wish I already had a job lined up in a public school, so I could go ahead and tell her, "yeah, I'm not coming back next year. So, if you could just give me a good reference, that'd be great..."

Monday, January 02, 2006

Back to the grind

It was back to work today. Blah. I dragged my feet waking up this morning, and I continued to drag all day. I just couldn't get back into the swing of things. When I get off of a schedule, it's really hard for me to get back on. Especially when my routine for the past two weeks only consisted of Mason's routine. I didn't have appointments or a certain plan to follow. That's why today was hard. I really could have used another week off, but then again, at the end of that week, I would have been even more resistant to go back.

My husband and I got rid of the Christmas goodies, junk food, desserts and crap that was laying around the house as of last night. I took some to work and the rest went in the trash. No more fudge, cookies, rice krispy treats, M & M's, Hershey's Kisses, chocolate covered pretzels, among other things. It's all gone. We allowed ourselves the weakness of the holidays (pretty much since Halloween), but knew we had to put a stop to it before our jeans wouldn't button. So, it's back to no junk and actually eating the serving size. And no soda. That's a biggie. Not so much for me, but my husband. And hopefully it will be semi decent outside, and I can start walking again like I did last spring and summer. If not, chasing after Mason should help. He's faster than a monkey on crack with the crawling and cruising all over the house!! Sitting down around him is a luxury. I guess he's doing his part to help us lose those holiday pounds.