Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I survived my first day

My first day at the YMCA at summer camp went pretty well. I only worked 12-6, and in that time we went to a movie ("Akeelah and the Bee", which is pretty good) so it went by pretty quickly. We only had eight 5th-8th graders, so it was easy to handle. Already some personalities coming through. Pretty Girl apparently came last year and has a little crush on the male counselor (which I went to high school with, and I had a crush on in high school, so that's strange). Silly Girl and The Follower are her cronies. Silly Girl was there last year too, and so her and Pretty Girl did a lot of those clap-and-chant games together, while The Follower watched and tried to be involved. The other 5 are boys and I'm still trying to figure them out. There is Spice Boy (not related to The Spice Girls), who had a sandwich at lunch that was loaded with jalapenos. He said he loves spicy stuff and loves jalapenos, but every bite he was running to get a drink of water and opening his eyes wide like he was dying (probably just a show for my sake). The others don't have names yet, but I'm sure they will.

It was nice to get home and I think I'll be so appreciative of my time with my husband and son (and our other two babies: Max and Charlie seen above), since I won't be getting home until 6:30 or so every night. It gives me enough time to have dinner with them, give Mason a bath and play with him some before he goes to bed. Plus, most mornings Mason and I will have a little time together before I take him to the babysitter's. Besides, it's only for 10 weeks. And the first one's halfway over already. And 3 weeks from now is our week-long trip to California with church!! So, really it's just 8 weeks. That'll go by in a blink of an eye.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Summertime, and the living's easy...

I've been trying to really enjoy this weekend, because I start my summer job tomorrow. Friday was the last working day for teachers, as I mentioned in my last entry. It was a really busy day, and then a bunch of teachers met at Applebee's to say goodbye. The White Witch paid for appetizers AND drinks! Actually, I was rather impressed. It was sad to say goodbye to some of them, but others I know I will see over the summer. I just can't imagine not seeing them again...Saturday we helped Mason's babysitter and her family move. It was pretty much an all day event. They had quite a few people from church helping out, but there was the old place to clean up and move and the new place to move things into. It was crazy trying to help, when I had Mason running around getting into everything. He found her old stash of baby bottles, so he had fun with those (he hasn't seen one at our house since Spring Break). Needless to say, we were pretty tuckered out after that. Yesterday, my husband worked most of the day, and Mason and I ran errands. Later, we all met at the YMCA (where I'll be working), so we could get our membership cards and take Mason to the pool. That was a blast. At first, he didn't know what to do. He just gripped onto my hand and wouldn't move. Then, he slowly warmed up to it, and before long, he was splashing all over the place and wanting to get away from our reach. It was so cute to see him in swim trunks. He looked like such a big boy!! The other day my husband cut Mason's hair and when I saw it, I almost cried. He looks like a boy, not a baby. I just can't believe how fast he's growing...Anyways, today is the last day of the weekend. Thank goodness for Memorial Day. (Thanks to all our veterans out there, including my husband!!) Today I plan to do laundry and go to Walmart. Yippee. When my husband gets off work, we are gonna have a little cookout. It's a beautiful day, and it's expected that you barbecue on Memorial Day, isn't it?

I guess that's it. That was my weekend. Tomorrow's my first day of work. I'll be with 5th-8th graders, doing "Adventure" activities, like swimming, hiking, outdoor games, going to a lake, going to the movies, etc. It should be fun. Busy and exhausting, but fun. So, if you don't see any new entries for awhile, you'll know why. I won't be off until 6pm every night, so I may not feel up to writing--at least for the first few days. So I'm signing off for now.

Friday, May 26, 2006

The silly and petty things don't matter

Yesterday was the last day for the kids. It was emotional. Today was crazy and stressful, as it was the last day for teachers. I helped teachers clean, pack and move rooms. I got pissed at my principal on a couple of occasions in just a few short hours and reminded myself how glad I was that I wasn't working there anymore. I complained and I gossiped. But it all doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.

I got an email from a friend and former coworker at a school I used to teach at, with some very sad news: one the of the students we taught drowned in a river recently. He was playing near it, and him and his friend dove in and got caught by the current and went under. His body was found at midnight last night. If you want to read a respectful summary of the incident and honorable description of the student, read Bluebird's blog (see "Bluebird's Classroom" on my links list).

Philipp was a good boy. He talked a lot and liked to get out of his seat for random reasons, but he was a good boy. I pray for his family as they try to get through this agonizing time. I don't know what else to say, other than my petty issues and lame complaints about work and whatnot don't matter. Life is too precious and there are people going through things right at this moment that are far more painful and excrutiating than anything I could be whining about right now.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

It's down to hours now...

Tomorrow's the last day of school!! I'm really excited and a little sad at the same time, as I mentioned in my last entry. I'm gonna go crazy with the picture taking and try not to be too sad to see them go. (although, there are a few that I will be pushing out the door, helping them into their parents' car) Our yearbooks won't be in until midsummer. How do you like them apples? What good is a yearbook when you don't get it until school's out? So much for getting their peers to sign and ask their teachers for final words of encouragement. I'm disappointed to say the least. Hey, maybe I'll get the select few 6th graders I have returning to me in 7th grade to sign it when we start school next year!!

Anyways, American Idol is on and it's the finale. Gotta find out who the winner is. Even though it isn't Chris Daughtry, so I don't care too much...

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

It's a bittersweet feeling

There are 2 days left of school, which leaves me a mix of emotions. I am so relieved that the school year is over and I will no longer be employed by Jadis the White Witch (Narnia reference). Every teacher rejoices at the thought of summer. I am glad it's over. Some of the kids wore me out and made me crazy. But even the pain-in-the-tushy ones have a place in my heart. I will never see some of them again. Granted, I live in the same town as these kids, so it's still possible. I'm also sad that I won't be socializing, gossiping and laughing with some of the ladies from work. They shared my frustrations and helped me get through the insanity that was our workplace. And I'm always nervous and anxious about starting at a new school. Every year I've taught has felt like my first year, since I've been in a different school all 5 years I've taught. Ah well, things settle quickly and I'll get over it. The whole thing just makes me sigh and wipe away a tear and laugh maniacally at the same time...

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Good changes

First thing's first: I changed my blog. Just in case you're blind and didn't notice the change...then again, if you're blind, you can't read this anyways. Unless someone is reading it to you, in which case, this would be the time when the reader needs to describe the yellow and green polka dots and fun, summery themed background. Anyways, I just decided it was time for a change. Again. If you know me, then you already know that I like to switch things up a bit every once in awhile (my husband things I change things too often--like the furniture and previous classroom setups), because I get bored of looking at the same thing all the time. So there ya go.

Second and much bigger change: I got a job for next school year!! Ya-hoo!! It's at the school I interviewed at last week. The principal called me Friday and offered me 7th grade English. I tried not to sound too eager and too excited to get out of the hellhole I call my current place of employment. I am so anxious to get started!! I can't wait to get me own classroom again and just teach English again, and not Math or Science or Social Studies or any other subject that I don't enjoy teaching. Or at least not half as much as I like teaching English. I've been praying for an answer for my career move for next year, and BAM! I got my answer. And it's at the school I wanted all along. I can't stop smiling about it.

My Ladies' Retreat I attended this weekend was really nice. We stayed in a hotel and relaxed and prayed and shared stories and cried together. It was a peaceful, spiritual experience. Daddy had Mason while I was gone and he said he gained a better appreciation for what I do and for single mothers that don't have anyone to help them. It was a nice time to be away from the stresses of day-to-day crap.

Now I just have to get through the next 4 days--the last 4 days of school!! Let the angels sing and the trumpets sound, we're in the home stretch, people!! The kids are nuts and have been for a month or so now. Spring Fever is in full swing and we are all ready for the year to be over. It's bittersweet though, because I'll miss the kids (most of them anyways) and the people I work (just not the person I work for). I hope to keep in contact with some ladies from work, because there are some good people there. The fun thing is that I might just have a handful of my current 6th graders next year, as some are moving on to that particular middle school. That should be something. At least I'll know what to expect with some of my students. And with middle schoolers, it's good to be prepared.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

People are interesting creatures...

First off, my interview went really well. The principal really likes me (why wouldn't she?) and she seems really nice. And the job's right up my alley: 7th grade Language Arts. I would teach two 2-hour blocks of English and then two classes of standardized test review. Basically, those two classes would be made up of students that didn't do so well on their tests this year and need some extra help. They'll be giving up one of their electives to be in that class. I'm not going to get my hopes up yet, but the job seems promising.

That leads me into the title of this entry. Walking into the principal's office, I got a feel of what this lady was all about. There are framed pictures of her family and friends all over the place. I figured out that she has two younger boys and a teenage daughter. There were pieces of framed art scattered about, and trinkets and gifts I assume from students, parents and her teachers. There was a large whiteboard on the wall behind me that had reminders, schedules and a quote about being an inspiration written on it. And what made me smile (and immediately like her) was the open box of lemon Girl Scout cookies that were sitting on her desk, near her computer. She's my kind of gal. If they had been Thin Mints or the Peanut Butter Patties or Samoas (or whatever they're called now), she'd have been my new best friend. Ah well, any type are a good start in my book. It's just amazing what you can learn about someone before they even say a word to you.

Like when I went to the mall later. There was the lady that served me my Banana Coconut Frappucino at Starbucks (which was interesting but certainly not my favorite). She had a really pretty face and her hair was curly and put up like she was going somewhere fancy. But then she had this huge tattoo on her upper arm that was busy and colorful, and a bracelet-like tattoo on the opposite wrist. And she was wearing pearls around her neck. It kinda made me smile. She's girly, but tough too. Then I saw the girl that had to be high maintenance. She was pushing one of those fancy strollers that was all pink and looked expensive, her new baby was dressed in designer clothes, the mom was talking on a fancy shmancy phone and she was carrying a designer diaper bag. Sheesh. Money wasted, in my opinion. Oh well, it's not my debt that's accumulating by the minute. I also saw an old man wearing a baseball cap that was two sizes too small and was reading the newspaper in the food court, and an older couple that were fussing at each other as they walked briskly through the mall, and there was a girl that worked at the cellphone kiosk and was extremely bored as she played some game online and waited for a customer to come by.

I just wish I could get paid to do this. I don't know how this interest of mine could be channeled to a profession, but if it ever does, I'll be a millionaire.

You didn't see anything...

I was never here. This was never written. And I certainly didn't play Hookie from work today, to just have a day to myself.

That being said, if I was here, I'd say it's nice to have a day without work or a toddler. My husband did the same awhile ago, and I wanted a break too, before we head into the last week of school and the next week start my new summer job. Normally when I call in sick or even on a regular weekend, I have Mason too. So, it means short bits of relaxing or quiet time squished between longer stretches of noisy busy time. In fact, just writing this blog uninterrupted is delightful. I am almost at a loss, without two tiny hands grabbing at my pant leg or hearing the sound of his frustration as he tries to get in my lap by stepping on my feet and pulling at the chair.

I do have a few things planned today, however. But before I talk about that, I have to say that I did not get the middle school position I was sure was in the bag. I guess the principal went with someone else. It was very cut and dry and frankly I was left hanging and then disappointed without much warning. I assume he still liked me though, because he passed my name on to the other middle school in town, and actually the one I really wanted in the first place. That principal called me the other day, and now this morning I have an interview. It's a good thing I took today off, because it's really tricky to manipulate my schedule to coordinate with the interviewee's. I am a little nervous, but it's not so bad. I've done this more times than I wish I had. I just hope I don't have to go through the slew of questions I had to answer on a whim at my last interview.

The other thing I have planned is to just walk around the mall. Peacefully. Without screaming Mason who is getting more impatient by the minute by being strapped into his stroller. Don't get me wrong, he likes rolling around the walkway at the mall, just watching people. If he's not bored and you don't stop. As soon as I try to window shop and maybe even go in and look at stuff on racks, I've lost him. And he's lost it. He starts grabbing at clothes and their price tags and starts twisting around in his seat like some contortionist. The visit usually ends after I have offered every snack I had packed in his bag, changed his diaper, and gave him a sippy cup of juice and then I decide we've both had enough and I rush the stroller and my aggravated toddler out of the mall and back into the car, where he usually crashes from all the energy he has put forth.

So I am going and not worrying about anyone else. I might even get a Frappucino at Starbucks (they have a new one I haven't tried--Coconut Banana Frap). And enjoy it. In peace.

And I have more serenity headed my way this weekend. I get to go to a Women's Retreat a couple of hours away, through our church. The woman I went to the Learn and Serve camp with in the fall is also going. We're staying in a really nice hotel and just spending time as women and not mothers or wives or whatever other titles we're asked to hold during our regular day. Hear us roar!!

I guess I've rambled on enough. And I was able to pass 30 minutes of my time off, just taking my time writing this. 7 1/2 hours to go!!

Monday, May 15, 2006

It's hot as Hades today!

I went on a field trip with the Resource kids to the local zoo today. I have to say I was rather impressed. I honestly assumed that the zoo population mainly consisted of wooded animals from this area, like: squirrels, raccoons, and some woodpeckers. Granted, there were javelinas, badgers, coyotes, mountain lions and black bears. But, there were also peacocks, lemurs and other animals from other parts of the world. There was an educational tour that was very informative, but it's just too darn hot to be walking around looking at animals that are mostly in hiding. The black bear had the right idea: he was splashing around in his pool and trying to cool off. I even started feeling woozy and my stomach churned.

Needless to say, because Mason is also down with a cold, I left work as soon as we got back from the field trip and I took Mason home. In fact, he's currently throwing a fit in his crib. He's tired, but refusing to sleep. That's so frustrating.

Anyways, I guess he's won the fight and I will go get him.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

There's at least one good thing that came out of me working at the school I'm at

Disneyland was a blast. They've added rides and improved old ones. And frankly, it was a lot of fun with the 6th graders. My group consisted of 3 boys (one who is the perfect kid and I hope Mason grows up to be like him, another one that's smart as a whip but can be a little hyper and the other who's just plain hyper) and it turned out great. Three groups ended up hanging out together for most of the day, which worked out better, because then if kids didn't want to ride on the fast rides (a couple of the girls and 2 of the boys didn't want to do much), they could stay behind with the mom that went along.

California Adventure is awesome. I had heard there wasn't much to do and I had even considered not even bothering to go over there. Little did I know they have faster rides than Disneyland!! Tower of Terror is just...wow. It's this elevator thing that shoots up and then throws you down and shoots you back up some more. At one point, the doors open up and you can see outside. You see how high up you are it's a little shocking. Three of us (the gth grade teacher, the special ed teacher and I) all got this shirt there that looks like it's from Pirates of the Caribbean or something. It had a skull and cross bones and said "The beatings will continue until morale improves" and in the middle it says "Captain Punisher in Command". We just couldn't stop laughing about that one. It seemed ever so appropriate for our work environment...Maliboomer made me shaky afterwards. It felt a lot like bungee jumping (I did it once on vacation and was rather proud of myself), because you are suspended on the pole thing and then it throws you high in the air and then drops you down. Yowza. And then there's the roller coaster (I can't remember the name, but there's a loop that's shaped like Mickey Mouse's head) that's awesome too, because it starts out shooting you out like a gun. Lots of fun. And there's the Monsters, Inc. ride that's real cute. And the area that's set up like Hollywood is neat.

Disneyland has improved Space Mountain and I swear it goes faster now. And there's a better light show in it and it's still my favorite. Of course we also went on Thunder Mountain Railroad, the Matterhorn and Splash Mountain (which I was sitting near the back, so I didn't even really get wet). We went on pretty much all the rides, except for the Winnie the Pooh ride, which I wanted to go on. But traveling in groups of 15 make it hard to get anywhere quickly. And time gets away from you, when you have to eat, stand in line (although they have Fast Pass now, which means you go up to the ride, put your ticket it and it gives you a little card. You leave, go do something else and come back an hour later. And when you return, you don't even have to stand in the line. You just walk right through. It feels like you're a V.I.P.) and shop for souvenirs. And 6th graders are very indecisive and want to buy stuff they don't have money for.

Of course the entire trip wasn't roses. On the way there, I probably only slept like 2 or 3 hours, because sleeping on a bus (even though it was a nice tour bus) makes it difficult to find a comfortable spot. And the ride home I slept hard, because I was more than exhausted, but I was sore too. My feet still ache, my legs are sore and when I move my arms a certain way, it pinches a little. And even though I was able to sneak in a 2 hour nap today (a big THANK YOU to my husband), I still feel whooped. I'm already ready to crash in bed for the night. And I'm supposed to help out at church tomorrow. We'll see how that goes.

Well, did I leave anything out? I think I covered most of my exciting but extremely tiring day. I'm back home and glad to be here. Gotta go and get to bed soon...Two more weeks of school, people!!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

I have a date with a guy with really big ears...

I'm leaving for Disneyland in 2 hours and 19 minutes!! Yikes!! I'm excited, but it's a little surreal. I mean, I've been there before and I know what to expect, but I haven't been in like 8 or 9 years, so some things have changed. And I've never taken other people's children. That's a little nerve-wracking. I just hope the kids that have "never been on any fast rides before" can handle Space Mountain and Thunder Mountain Railroad and the Matterhorn, because I'm not riding on a bus for 8 hours with a bunch of crazed 11 year olds, just to walk around and stand outside all the cool rides. I'm going to ride on everything, darn it!! Well, everything except for It's A Small World (if you know me, you probably know why. My personal Hell...).

I'm still upset about some of the arrangements of this trip (more changed today--now one of the moms that's also an aide in another room is going, and using the ticket that was supposed to be for the aide in the 6th grade that isn't going), but I still plan to have a good time. I will be sure to place a picture or two on here when I return. Wish me luck. Hopefully I'm able to get some sleep on the way there, so I can last all day tomorrow. Maybe I'll just let them drag me on It's A Small World tomorrow night, so I can just go Nighty-Night.

Monday, May 08, 2006

I can't wait until my entries consist of stories about students...

...not about the leader of the school. I am too tired and mentally exhausted from a drama-filled day to get into the details, but let's just say that little emotional fires were set all over the school today, and our Fearless Leader was the pyromaniac. She's one shady individual who would be long since fired had she tried to pull some of her fabulous stunts in a public school. But being charter, eyes are purposely averted and people pretend not to know what's going on. In a nutshell, one aide overheard that she wasn't competent enough to control a classroom; an aide in the 6th grade was told TODAY that she isn't going with us to Disneyland (we're going in 3 days, mind you)--which also involved that aide being bad-mouthed about her competency, and the Fearless Leader's daughter and friend get to go to Disneyland (even though they only work in the aftercare program, they don't actually teach anything), but the 6th grade aide doesn't. Grrr...I am so glad I'm getting out of there. Sometimes it's not my battle to fight, but I don't like sitting idly by and watching people around there get treated like horse manure (including myself). I can't wait to return to public school, where it's crazy and I'll have outrageous stories to tell, but at least they won't be concerning my principal. Hopefully.

Sunday, May 07, 2006


What a weekend. Yesterday in my entry I know I sounded either pissed off, distracted or annoyed. I wasn't really any of those things. Just busy. I just wanted to drop a line here yesterday morning, before we headed to the family get-together, and before Princess BAF whined about me not writing in a few days. ;) So, not to worry.

The visit with the in-laws was good. Mason got to meet his 3rd cousin (we think that's what she is. she's my husband's cousin's daughter), Janae for the first time. She's 2 months younger and quite a little doll. They had fun playing and taking toys from each other. It was cute. We had a cookout and visited with everyone for most of the day. Then, around 4, we left for home. Mason was pooped out from all the playing, running around outside and getting so much attention. When we got home, we vegged until bedtime.

Today, we went to church this morning and then my husband went off to work. I attempted to clean the house. I say "attempted", because I was somewhat productive, until Mason awoke from his nap. I was able to get our bathroom scrubbed (which I absolutely despise doing at all. I even cleaned the shower!! mark it on the calendar!!), did some dishes and straighened up the house a bit. I still had Easter stuff out, so I packed that up...There isn't another significant holiday that I have decorations for, until Halloween. That's a long way away. Maybe I should get something for the 4th of July. I'll look into that...After the cleaning, we went to Target, so I could get a few things for my Disneyland trip (in 4 days!!). I am actually pretty excited now. I was really nervous before (which I still am, in the back of my mind), but now I'm just focused on how fun it will be and the memories I'll have. I just hope I'm able to get some sleep on the way there, because I'm not equipped to stay up all night like I used to be (remember Kelly, when we stayed up all night in middle school?! God, I couldn't do that now, if I tried!).

In a bit, we're gonna go bring Daddy dinner at work. It'll be the first time doing that, at this job anyways. Should be kinda fun.

Well, Mason's playing with my phone on the floor next to me, and I better go before he calls Zimbabwe...

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Too busy to write much

Things have been a little crazy lately. Between normal work antics, getting ready for the 6th grade graduation, trying to get employed for two jobs, preparing for Disneyland (next Thursday!), my husband's birthday and just chasing after a 16 month old, time has been very short--sometimes nonexistent for things I would like to do. Like this blog. Sorry about that.

On the list of things occupying our time, we are actually in process of getting ready to take a roadtrip today to my sister-in-law's for a little family thing. So, I can't really waste time here, when I have Mason eating snack and he still needs to be dressed and stuffed into his carseat where he will hopefully knock out for the duration of the trip.

So, I'll write more later. See ya.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

My dad doesn't actually read this, but I thought I'd send well wishes here, anyways. He's the big 6-5 today. Yikes. That's unbelievable. It's a pretty significant year for a lot of people around here. My husband's turning 30 tomorrow, my dad's 65, my parents will be celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary later this year, and my father-in-law will be 60 in the fall. Wow. Sometimes time flies faster than we want it to. Before I know it, Mason will be celebrating his 16th birthday, and at that exact moment I will be a nervous wreck and feel just a tad bit old. At least for the time being, I'm still a "young mom" and he's still a toddler. I need to revel in the moment...