Monday, December 13, 2010

I'm watching the future leaders right now.

Right now, I'm subbing in an AP Calc class. Calculus is all Greek to me. There are 9 seniors, 2 of them I've coached, one of them is a neighbor and sits for my kids. They could have blown off today, it being a 2hr late start.

They had their books open before I had taken attendance, and all but shoved me out of the way, eager to get to the white board. Each of them took a problem and started explaining it to the class. The room is full of "You missed plugging in your D value." "No, look at your dA/dt, right here." "Is that right?" "Explain that again." "Can I borrow your brain next year?"

I love it. These guys get it! Self starters, motivated to do their best, understand, explain it to others, help out. And even though I've only had a small part in a few of their school careers, I feel proud of them!

These guys are going to be the 20% in the world that are the great leaders. Have faith that this generation is not lost!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Things that must be said.

This mostly has to do with random thoughts that pop up while I'm driving, that should be a tweet (twat? twat?) or a crackbook status, but since I'm not a texter, the thoughts go unsaid.

The first is that on my way to one of my sub jobs, on an old county country road, in the middle of nowhere, is an explosives manufacturing business. Really? They make explosives? I always wonder just how dangerous it is in there, because the building is relatively unassuming. And, I think, would this be a possible terrorist target? What if it's a cover for top secret government weapons? I mean, I pass it at least once a week, just what is it doing out there? By posting this, am I going to end up on a watch list? hmmmmmm.

The next is that sometimes I have a nearly uncontrollable urge to exit off the interstate while maintaining the same speed, blow past the stop sign, and shoot right back onto the on ramp. One of these days I may not be able to control it!

And finally, when I'm stressed out, I try to put a seat belt on, whether I'm in the car or not. I sit down, on the couch, at a desk, to supper, and I involuntarily reach for my seat belt. Not sure why.

I feel much better, now having said all that!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Recovering toddlers are crabs!

Last Wednesday, Addie hit a fever of 104.6 and threw up three times. I was gone to state dance competition, so my husband had to deal with her alone. Emily then got a fever and felt sick. The next day Emily was doing better, but Addie was still in the 103 to 104 range as soon as the Motrin wore off. She was a slug on the couch. She stayed that way until Monday morning, when it appeared that the fever was gone. It was a good thing too, because that evening was the Christmas Pageant she had been preparing for and talking about since the beginning of school. I called the school and said I'd keep her for the morning, just to make sure, and then she could come for lunch and finish out the day, and make her debut.

By 9:30 it was apparent that she was not doing better, and her temperature was back at around 101. She melted down at the slightest bit of resistance, and found herself in bed by 10am where she passed out until 1 when I woke her to drag her into the doctor.

It was one of those mommy-second-guessing moments. She's had a fever for 6 days, but it is lower, and really what are they going to do? But what sort of mother lets their kid have a fever for 6 days? I took her, and consequently felt stupid because he said whatever it was was on its way out and to call if it wasn't gone in two days.

So no pageant, and she stayed home the next day, where she spent the morning screaming at me anytime I told her something she didn't like. She could have moved into time-out she spent so much time there.

Finally, she was fever free for 24 hours and I shipped her butt off to school. It didn't go so well. Much to her aggravation, she learned that she had missed the pageant and was very upset the whole day. Her teachers sent a note explaining they "gave her a break" because of the trauma inflicted by her bad mommy not explaining she was going to miss it and didn't prepare her for her friends asking where she was.

Tonight, the class A melt down came at 6pm when she informed us she was not going to finish her supper, but would throw it on the floor, unless we stopped making the wrong kind of cookies! Screaming and kicking and crying ensued, quickly followed by a hosing off and chucking into bed, where she was passed out before her head hit the pillow.

I hope this is the last day! Her crabbiness has got to end!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I never do these things...

...because they take forever. But I thought it would be a fun blog post. There are some stupid questions that would be better replaced by something more meaningful, since it takes an eternity to complete anyway. But here is my "Getting to know you" crackbook chain activity:
You've been tagged (as have I), you have the honor of copying all these goofy questions, writing your own response, and tagging 25 other victims. You have to tag me so really you just need 24 more people. To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your title as "Getting to know each other!", tag 25 people including me (tagging is done in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish. (I actually tagged more people, just to spite them!)

1. What time did you get up this morning?
6AM (I wish it would have been later!)

2. How do you like your steak?

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
Eat, Pray, Love (sucked, IMHO) but loved the GNO

4. What is your favorite TV show?
Grey's/Desperate Housewives

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
I think I'm here! (except I could do without the cold and snow!)

6. What did you have for breakfast?

7. What is your favorite cuisine?
Anything my husband makes!

8. What foods do you dislike?
Lemon filled bismarks disguised as Boston Creme; that is just EVIL

9. Favorite place to eat?
Hu Hot... even the name is fun to say... go ahead, try it... HU HOT!

10. Favorite dressing?

11.What kind of vehicle do you drive?
The Blue Eagle (AKA Town and Country short bus)

12. What are your favorite clothes?
My power suit with the pink cami and kitten heels!

13. Where would you visit if you had the chance?
The middle east or Rome

14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full?
depends; if the coffee is 1/2 anything, it's bad. However, if the wine is 1/2 anything, someone is having a good time!

15. Where would you want to retire?
Someplace close to family, as long as I had money to travel

16. Favorite time of day?

17. Where were you born?
St. Joseph, Michigan

18. What is your favorite sport to watch?

19. Who do you think will not tag you back?
Well, I haven't tagged people yet, as I type this. And perhaps, by saying they will not tag me back, they actually will to prove a point, because if they are spiteful, like me, they will do it just to prove me wrong... so in that case...Jeremy, Heidi, Trinity, Levi, Adam... I apologize if I've forgotten anyone.

20. Person you expect to tag you back first?
Let's just see who has too much time on their hands... like me... right now.

21. Who are you most curious about their responses to this?
Probably my neighbors!

22. Bird watcher?
Only at my MIL's because she puts out a ton of birdseed, and word gets around! Some of those birds are so huge they need to go on a diet!

23. Are you a morning person or a night person?
Really? All morning people should be shot...

24. Pets?
2 cats, 2 kids, and a husband. The shedding is the worst!

25. Any new and exciting news that you'd like to share?
Baby 3... no, just kidding. Talk to me next year...

26. What did you want to be when you were little? honestly?
A marine biologist. 10 years of getting thrown into freezing cold water before 7am for swim team killed that dream.

27. What is your best childhood memory?
Traveling everywhere in minivans with the McKees

28. Are you a cat or dog person?

29. Are you married?
9 1/2 years

30. Always wear your seat belt?

31. Been in a car accident?

32. Any pet peeves?
See #8 and #23. Also silly bands, spam, and people who go slightly under the speed limit.

33. Favorite pizza topping?
The works

34. Favorite Flower?
Lavendar and Lilac for smell, but the first tulip in the spring is the best. Oh, and all kinds of tiger lilies.

35. Favorite ice cream?
B&J Creme Brulee

36. Favorite fast food restaurant?
Does subway count?

37. How many times did you fail your driver's test? .

38. From whom did you get your last email?
The Scooter Store: I may be eligible to recieve a power chair or scooter at little to no cost... see #32...

39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card?
Target, but how would that be different?

40. Do anything spontaneous lately?
Took an industrial tech class on a short, unauthorized, mini field trip to the back lot of the school to check out their progress on a shed they were building... I was impressed! Also, taught an Algebra class actual math!

41. Like your job?
Love teaching, want my own classroom sooooo bad!

42. Broccoli?

43. What was your favorite vacation?
The summer of continuous road trip: From MA to home in Iowa, to Colorado, to Devil's Tower, to Walldrug, to Badlands, to Mt. Rushmore, to Iowa, to Rock Island, to MA to Sweden, to MA. Fun!

44. Last person you went out to dinner with?
The Maquoketa Valley Dance Team!

45. What are you listening to right now?
Pachelbel Canon in d

46. What is your favorite color?

47. How many tattoos do you have?

48. Coffee drinker?

49. What nicknames do you go by?
crudd, mom, mommy, coach, woman

Monday, November 29, 2010

Feeling down and looking for a pickmeup

Irritated by some news today, I went searching the net for some comfort. And here it was.

Trees that Wood

Once there were three trees on a hill in the woods. They were discussing their hopes and dreams when the first tree said, "Someday I hope to be a treasure chest. I could be filled with gold, silver and precious gems. I could be decorated with intricate carving and everyone would see the beauty."
Then the second tree said, "Someday I will be a mighty ship. I will take kings and queens across the waters and sail to the corners of the world. Everyone will feel safe in me because of the strength of my hull."

Finally the third tree said, "I want to grow to be the tallest and straightest tree in the forest. People will see me on top of the hill and look up to my branches, and think of the heavens and God and how close to them I am reaching. I will be the greatest tree of all time and people will always remember me."

After a few years of praying that their dreams would come true, a group of woodsmen came upon the trees. When one came to the first tree he said, "This looks like a strong tree, I think I should be able to sell the wood to a carpenter" ... and he began cutting it down. The tree was happy, because he knew that the carpenter would make him into a treasure chest.

At the second tree a woodsman said, "This looks like a strong tree, I should be able to sell it to the shipyard." The second tree was happy because he knew he was on his way to becoming a mighty ship.

When the woodsmen came upon the third tree, the tree was frightened because he knew that if they cut him down his dreams would not come true. One of the woodsmen said, "I don't need anything special from my tree so I'll take this one", and he cut it down.

When the first tree arrived at the carpenters, he was made into a feed box for animals. He was then placed in a barn and filled with hay. This was not at all what he had prayed for. The second tree was cut and made into a small fishing boat. His dreams of being a mighty ship and carrying kings had come to an end. The third tree was cut into large pieces and left alone in the dark. The years went by, and the trees forgot about their dreams.

Then one day, a man and woman came to the barn. She gave birth and they placed the baby in the hay in the feed box that was made from the first tree. The man wished that he could have made a crib for the baby, but this manger would have to do. The tree could feel the importance of this event and knew that it had held the greatest treasure of all time. Years later, a group of men got in the fishing boat made from the second tree. One of them was tired and went to sleep. While they were out on the water, a great storm arose and the tree didn't think it was strong enough to keep the men safe. The men woke the sleeping man, and he stood and said "Peace" and the storm stopped. At this time, the tree knew that it had carried the King of Kings in its boat.

Finally, someone came and got the third tree. It was carried through the streets as the people mocked the man who was carrying it. When they came to a stop, the man was nailed to the tree and raised in the air to die at the top of a hill. When Sunday came, the tree came to realize that it was strong enough to stand at the top of the hill and be as close to God as was possible, because Jesus had been crucified on it.

The moral of this story is that when things don't seem to be going your way, always know that God has a plan for you. If you place your trust in Him, He will give you great gifts. Each of the trees got what they wanted, just not in the way they had imagined. We don't always know what God's plans are for us. We just know that His ways are not our ways, but His ways are always best.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bucket Lists

Yesterday I subbed in a room where listed next to the teacher's desk was a bucket list. It was just out there in the open for anyone to see. The students even commented on it. But it wasn't what I would expect from a bucket list. Not a compilation of crazy feats or adventures, but expectations of a good life.

There was:
Stay married to my wife my whole life.
State a positive comment for every negative comment.
Coach a state champion.
Go to church every Sunday.
Give out 10 compliments a day.
See all my kids graduate college.
Retire between the ages of 55 and 65.

There were some high adventures too:
Run a half marathon.
See Niagara Falls.
Go on a cruise.

I was just so impressed with the simplicity of these goals, but as I thought about it, some of them were rather daunting. Could you really accomplish some of these? What a great and bold thing to even write them down and attempt them, I don't know that I'd have the guts to do even that. These are things that you just say, or take up as short term goals. His list was dated 1988, and some things were crossed off with dates next to them. Others, I imagine, his family will look at after he is gone, and finish the crossing off.
Pretty cool! What's on your bucket list?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Getting over disappointment

Yesterday was the dance team's first competition. It was districts, we competed against 6 teams, and we didn't place. First place went to Cascade, the team to beat. They were AMAZING! Not a finger out of place, great music, high energy choreography.

We took our state pom routine. The same one we will compete against these teams with at the state competition. Against Cascade.

I'm not a very eloquent coach, who knows what to say when their team is disappointed. It wasn't their best performance. Some were scared, there were plenty of mistakes, and their energy could be higher. Some even seem bored with it. They still can't get their turns in second, or triples.

I did not say they sucked. I did not say they were worthless or horrible. I also didn't say that the team that took third didn't deserve it, that it was simple and wasn't sharp. I also didn't give the excuse that Cascade has year round strenous practice with a fully mirrored dance studio and a feed-in program that trains them from toddlers.

I also didn't say what I fear they feel: what is the point, if we are going to take this same routine to state, how will we get good enough to beat Cascade in 2 weeks?

What I did say was that they did well, I was proud of them, and now we know what we need to work on. It's just that I don't know how to do it. What do I say to get them fired up, to do their best?

And we will continue to face challenges after State. They seem to think state is "graduation" and that things will get easier afterwards. Moving ahead in the season, I want them to choreograph new routines to perform at every other home game. They have been resistent to this and to practice every day for 2 hours. When I told them about performing at the US Cellular center, one said we could take our hip hop routine from state. I said no, they would be doing a new routine. The seniors balked. How do I get them past that?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thinking out blog

I used to write in my bathroom when I needed to think. I would take a notebook, huddle up on the floor next to the heat vent, and just write. I write like I think, and I didn't worry about spelling or punctuation or proper anything. My handwriting is atrocious, and became much worse the faster I thought. Getting it down on paper helped me straighten out my thoughts, clarify what I really wanted, finish conversations, get the last word in. It also helped me solve problems, and let go of guilt or "shoulduves."

I'm not sure why it was the bathroom. I could be in there for a long time and no one would bother me or ask what I was doing (because they thought they knew!).

I chew on problems. No, it's more like mauling, even long after it's dead and over, like a huge woolly bear after it woke from hibernation. Or, like me with my daughters Halloween candy on a cold fall night. Endlessly mauling...

The only way to stop the carnage is to talk it to death. I review the case over and over with anyone who will listen; my friends, my neighbors, my husband, my parents, random strangers standing in line at the grocery store. Talk, chew, maul, talk chew maul...

But now I have blogging, and writing is still a great way to get it all out and say all I want to say, and look it over, and maul it over. I'm not really sure that anyone reads this anymore, which is kind of fun, but kind of strange too. Because I don't really write the thoughts out to get advice (sometimes, but not always), but to get them out there somewhere, so they're not stuck in my head.

So I guess you could call it thinking out blog.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

My family and God's plans

I've missed my family lately. Sometimes I leave at 7:30am and don't get home until 6:30 at night. I see my husband and kiddos for 30 minutes after they get up, and 30 minutes before they go to bed! That's just not long enough, but I know other families do this 5 days a week!

My husband, who I'm so thankful for, is such a wonderful parent, and a saint of a husband. He bears the brunt of the work about 3 days a week. He gets them up, feeds them, dresses them, takes them to school and the sitter, goes to work himself, then comes home and picks them up and brings them home, and cooks supper for us.

Sometimes, (more often than not) I feel like a big sack of poop. Perhaps I know why God's plan and my plan didn't match up these past few years. Maybe my family couldn't handle me being gone this much 5 days a week if I was teaching full time. I'm not really good at staying home with the kids. I can never think of cool crafty learning projects to do with them. I'm not a domestic goddess. I hate to cook and my cleaning skills are pathetic. I can sew, but I don't. I'm sure my mother-in-law is horrified that her son is subjected to such squalor. It's a good thing this isn't the archaic past, when my husband would have had all the grounds in the world to kick me to the curb.

But I love my family more than anything. I show it by making sure there are vegetables on their plates at most meals, clothes are clean and picked out of "Mt. Washmore" and laid on the bed nearly every morning, the necessary dishes are clean and waiting in the cabinet known as "the dishwasher" most of the time. And when I do get home, I try to "take over" so he can have a break and I can spend some time with my lovely children.

So, if it is God's plan to someday have me working in a job where I feel he gave me a talent and passion for, teaching, I pray that he also has a plan for including my family in it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Coach Rudd

I don't get as many "aha! moments" when I sub, so coaching fills that passion. I get to struggle with the team as they work toward their best, and celebrate when they have reached their goal, and then motivate them to set and reach yet another goal. And for that, I get the title of coach! I love to be called that! Coach Rudd!

My first experience this year was fabulous! When I was hired as the cross country coach, I wasn't even sure there would be a team, as they ended with 3 last year, and it had to have 8 to run. I was given a list of all kids and phone numbers in the school, and I just went down it and cold called. I got laughed at. But 6 said yes by the start of school. Then they recruited, and then they recruited more, stealing two away from volleyball and one away from football. I had 11 varsity runners, which was enough to run a full boys team and a full girls team. I also had 6 junior high students, which will hopefully carry over to next year. This led to something the team hadn't seen in almost 4 years... taking a bus, a whole bus, to a meet. We took a whole bus to every meet!

I worried about how I would create an atmosphere of fun and ambition to get their best times. But the three returning runners and some spirited new comers set the tone for an extremely close-knit and supportive team, and bestowed upon the younger their techniques for running their best. I could not have asked for a better team to be my first cross country team.

Now I'm in Dance Team season, which is a whole other beast. All girls, a lot more drama, and more stress to compete well and place high at state competition. I'm trying to foster a healthy team atmosphere, but this team was beat up and badly bruised from their coach last year, who was apparently a negative perfectionist. Nothing they did was right, and she let them know it. I like to motivate in a different way. I get the impression that the 5 seniors and 2 other returning members have their loyalty split between her and me, and sometimes they attempt to manipulate. Not sure how to get around it, but I'll figure it out. By the end of this season, I'm positive they will be a better team and better dancers. After all, I'm the coach!

Monday, November 8, 2010

My thoughts on the mandate aka what voters want!

Announcement: The world is not ending now that the election is over. Just as it did not end in 2008. The nation is not ripping apart. The Republicans were not given a mandate. The nation did not lose it's mind and vote back in the crazies who destroyed the surplus and our nations reputation. You want to know what I think the swing is? I don't care, I'm going to tell you anyway! A cry for gridlock. The thought that one party, who won by 53% (president), controlling the entire congress and the white house, is alright until you realize what checks and balances mean. If the majority of people think that the party's agenda is good, fine. But the majority doesn't think all of it is. And the way things were moved forward was too fast without compromise. They were very smart to push so hard and so fast to accomplish all that they did, because that's the only way it would have passed ever because you can't please everyone, or even a majority. So I think the massive swing was in the hopes of providing some checks and balances to the Fed again, to bring legislation back in line with what more people want.

Another opinion: I don't agree with a lot of what was done, but, I don't think it was done with the intention of harming anyone. Sure the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and politicians make my skin crawl and stomach lurch, but the people that voted one way or another, in 2008 and 2010, voted that way because they feel it was the best solution to the problems we all agree need fixing.

So we have different perspectives. Don't assume I'm stupid or heartless or just don't know the facts, or the propaganda has me in its grip. I'm not, I do, it doesn't. I'm pretty thorough in my research, have strong convictions, and try to keep an open mind.

But trust me, I'm right!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Thoughts on Glitter Tattoo Pens

Driving with children should be banned. Forget cell phones, smoking, or texting, children are more distracting than anything else! They scream, cry, throw things, demand, pick on each other. I continuously position my rear view mirror to see them in the back seat, rather than the road.

Is that bad?

We have a plethora of toys with tiny intricate pieces meant to entertain them bouncing around the back of the van. It looks like Toys'R Us and McDs set off a mini toy nuke. I'm continually saying things like, "Share with your sister!" and "Don't make me pull over!" and "Don't put that in your mouth!" One such item is a pack of 6 glittery tattoo pens, meant to write on paper or skin. It's totally washable, I have no idea how they made glitter and bright colors so easy to get off, but it's truly a miracle! They could be covered from head to toe, and the stuff wipes off with one wet wipe! So what a perfect thing for them to have in the car, except for putting them in their mouth.

Which brings me to yesterday. Driving in Cedar Rapids with Mom, mirror positioned to keep an eye on the hellions, when Addie starts hollering from the back seat. I glance back, and deep purple, glittery ink is oozing from her mouth! What a freaky sight! I try not to panic and tell her to spit, which for her means spraying and raspberries. Purple, glittery, spittle sprays all over the back seat! I yank the car to the right across 3 lanes of traffic and pull into a restaurant parking lot, rip the door open, drag my daughter out and pry open her purple glittery mouth. I scrubbed her tongue with baby wipes, which hind sight being 20/20, not so sure about ingesting that either, and wipe off all the purple goo from her face, neck, chest, arms, hands, legs, and feet. I gave her my water to swish and spit several times. Then I reassessed.

Thoughts in my brain in less than 10 seconds:
1. If it were poisonous, would it really be in a child's pen?
2. But, what child breaks open a pen and drinks the goo out?
3. What sort of thing goes into the ink to make it that color?
4. What is glitter made out of?
5. Crap, is it lead?
6. No, it has to be non-toxic to be drawn onto skin, right?
7. Was it made in China?
8. Should I call poison control?
9. Kids swallow all sorts of things, like pennies, dirt, scissors (or was that convicts in jail?)
10. Will she listen the next time I tell her not to put something in her mouth?
11. What the hell was she doing to the pen?

She said she couldn't taste it anymore, but her tongue stayed purple and glittery for an hour after, even through a strawberry smoothie at Target. I did not call poison control, as she didn't complain of burning, or a tummy ache, or pain. I'm still second guessing myself on that, but it's past 24 hours now and she seems normal. Well, as close to normal as my child gets. I kept my panic in check. I did, however, check her poop today. I'm not going to lie, I was slightly disappointed it was not purple or sparkly.

Friday, August 27, 2010


I have never been a morning person. I was drug out of bed when I was little to be thrown into freezing cold water by 7am in the summer for swim team practice. I was drug out of bed during the school year extra early because I had to be out the door walking to the bus by 6:30am. In high school I did stupid things like sign up for early bird gym and do two sports in one season. In college it seemed I always had at least one 8am class, or a job that started at 6am. Then I had a few years reprieve, where I had a normal job, I could be to work by 9am and sleep till noon on the weekends. But by then, I had discovered the elixir of life, wine of the gods, go-juice!
I used to hate coffee. It was bitter, and disgusting, and I was stupid! I tried to be adult and drink it on several occasions, but the cup was always left mostly full. And then I met Dunkin Donuts!
The very first day we were in New Bedford, MA, we noticed the D&D stores, billboards, tv ads, and styrofoam coffee mug in every person's hand. There is no greater marketing campaign than that of D&D on the east coast. Because those people, as one of their adverts claims, "run on Dunkin". And its true! The pace of life is so much faster that 6 years later when we moved back to Iowa, the slow, friendly, chatty pace of store clerks and service workers almost caused me to go postal. COMEONPEOPLE!!! I got places to go and people to see! People out there start their day at 9 and end it at 3, but still accomplish as much as here, where we start work at 8 and end at 5.
Our first experience with "OUR" D&D was a lesson in east coast etiquette. The long line at 9am zipped through, and suddenly we found ourselves face to face with a Stephanie Plum-esk Jersey girl, complete with big hair, silver hoops the size of hub caps, and an accent that let me know I would be "taken care of", if you know what I mean. "What can I getcha, hon?", not said sweetly, but as if we were wasting the most precious of times. To which we replied, "um... well... I'm not really about...", and suddenly, she screams, "NEXT!!!" and we were efficiently jostled out of the way.
We learned how to order. A regular hot medium means 2 creams, 2 sugars, not black coffee. If you say you want a coffee, with 2 creams and 2 sugars, they look at you like you have something wrong with you. Its all about efficiency. What do you want, hot or cold, what goes in it, what size, and make it snappy. Our D&D girls eventually saw us coming in line and knew what to make us, and knew that if we were alone, we should never leave that store without a coffee for our better half, or it could mean our marriage.
But the most important thing to understand about D&D was that the coffee they make in the store has crack in it. I'm not kidding. They sprinkle it in with the sugar. I know this because I realized one day that I was addicted. I caught myself saying "I like the way I feel on it." That's not something one usually says about coffee, is it? That's something you say when you're trying to get off the hard core stuff. I was so addicted. I still jones for it!
So now, before I can think or do, I must have my coffee. It's not my D&D coffee, made by my girls, just Folgers made with too many grinds brewed on strong. But it gets me moving! So thanks, D&D, for the mornings. I will never get over you!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I'm back I think

I am finally done with my classes for my Social Studies endorsement.
I am still subbing, but I did get two coaching jobs that will keep me hopping!
I am thick in the start of cross country, and now my dance team girls have an ambitous agenda for homecoming. The students are awesome, great attitudes and senses of humor. I like to try to run and dance with them, so it keeps me in shape.
We have 2 pottys and 2 places to clean our butts, and 3 sinks! It was a busy summer!
My big one is off to preschool 4 days a week. She loves school so much. We really neglected her learning this summer, mainly because she refuses to do "school stuff" outside of school.
Emily has been perfecting the art of sibling irritation. They both poke and prod at each other, take toys away, and tease when the other is in time out for some offense. Yelling and screaming and hitting is par for the course, despite repeated time-outs. Frustrating! But, she is a sweet, loveable, huggable, bundle of cuteness that is oh so kissable. She's happy to have mom home all to herself.
Jeremy is back to work, school starts for him this Thursday. I don't know that he is super excited about it, but it keeps his brain occupied!
That's it for now, hope to keep up my writing skills, now that I'm not using them to BS homework papers!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Perfect Day

Today has the potential to be the perfect day. I was allowed to sleep in until a luxurious 7:59, got up and drank my coffee while I picked up and disinfected some stuff, put some laundry away and got myself dressed. I am typing sitting at our bay window in the kitchen while the strong sunshine penetrates and dissipates the dense fog, the sky is blue with fluffy clouds, and a light breeze is picking up.

I've got plants in pots calling to me. I have two cute critters, one in a sun dress and one in a Little Mermaid outfit. It's probably not that warm out, but they've got coats. We will go outside and soak the sunshine up!

Later I have a Tastefully Simple party where I will gorge myself on beer bread and watermelon slushy drinks. One last relaxing weekend before I start my next two classes! Ahhhhhh!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Sick Kids

Emily has been persistently disgusting since early this year. A smokers cough, a spicket of a nose that leaks slimy slug-like snot, and weepy eyes. Being almost two, and surrounded by other disgusting tiny creatures such as herself at the sitter's, I have just been chalking it up to the regular germs. Along with the fact that she can still travel at light speed with all this going on. There were 2 glorious weeks in April where she was pristine, not a booger in sight. But that didn't last long. We began to think it was allergies because of the mostly colorless leakage and persistence, and the fact that none of us, including her sister seemed to be catching what she had.

So then the whole second guessing takes place. Do I take her to the doctor? Keep her home from the sitter? Keep an eye on it? Force feed her vegetables and vitamins? Get her out in fresh air? Keep her bundled up laying low on the couch watching Super Why?

But then a note from the sitter, who, poor thing, is 9 months pregnant. Could we make sure the girls were in good health before we brought them? She was sick with what Emy had, and she didn't want any more illness. She also stated that it isn't allergies because all the snot was green, and that 13 people became sick later.

Defensive Mommy goes to, "So what you're saying is that I'm a bad parent for failing to recognise this as sickness, not taking care of my kid, and infecting everyone else?" And of course I look at all the other lovely sweet germ balls who have recently thrown up and had fevers, and wonder how many of them were asked to stay home?

More rational mommy knows that it sucks to be that pregnant and miserably sick, I love the job this woman does, that my two demons are a handful anyway, and that getting to the bottom of this via doctors visits probably isn't a bad idea anyway.

So Jeremy took her to the doctor. Strangest thing, she had a small fever! She was all high spirits, piss and vinegar today! It appears to be all sinus but not severe, and could be aggravated by allergies. She's going to an allergist next week. Poor Emy!

I still have not decided how to deal with these hurt feelings when I speak to the sitter. I want to say "but, but, but, how did she infect you and everyone else and not her own family, the snot IS clear, REALLY, and what about all the other kids?!" But this will not be productive. I just hope my children are not ostracized because "they spread infections". I get backed up if I hear a kid is sick there, but then I shrug and say "bring it on", the more infections now, the more the antibodies later! My gut is saying this is something else, and regardless of how I, or other people feel, I have learned to trust it above everything else.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

My Big Baby is 4!

The Princess has turned four! I cannot believe it! Words cannot describe how much I love her!
Here she is with a new birthday dress and shoes!

Opening her presents. New PINK chucks!

The pirates had stolen all Addie's presents and hidden them in the yard. Fortunately, we found a treasure map to help us find them!

Addie and Emily frosted the cake... I helped... Can you tell?

Making cupcakes for the school celebration!

Despite the lack luster planning, hectic schedule, and general everyday chaos, the birthday was a success! She felt loved and special, as any princess should!


I did get a call back from the Principal about the coaching position. We will meet next week for an interview, so I'll keep you posted! I would enjoy that postition a lot I think.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Fear and Loathing

I finally finished my class, but the accomplishment has been overshadowed by my growing apprehension that it was in vain because there appears to be a rapid decline in Social Studies jobs. And I'm still facing down the barrel of two geography courses this summer, of which I have no inkling of what they will be like. Will they be labor intensive like these last two courses? A lot of homework? Scheduled lecture times you have to be online? I guess I shouldn't worry about it, but take it as it comes. If I could just get my brain to listen to that advice!

There are no jobs, and I feel trapped in a system that is rife with nepotism, where it's not what you know, but who you know. At least it feels like that. I have a little piggy in the door because a few teachers have taken note, request me as their sub, and have offered to be a reference, but if there are no jobs they can't help.

There were these jobs posted that were 1/2 teaching and 1/2 activities director, and I hemmed and hawed about whether that's what I wanted, and two weeks after being posted online, they were gone, I had missed my chance to apply. I called just to check to see if it was too late, and left a message, but have not received a call back. I jumped on a coaching position I heard would be open, I've heard my stuff is floating around and people have seen it, but my phone call was not returned, once again. Isn't it still common courtesy to at least return people's phone calls and let them know?

The confidence I have in my ability to teach is weakened by all this, because that annoying little voice says, "If you're really that good, why don't you have a real teaching job?" I know, I wish I could shut that little bastard up, but it's so persistent! I want to whine to the world, "But, I'm really awesome! Just give me a chance!"

Then, there is the other little voice that says, "What kind of a mother, and person, are you, that you are not happy with all the blessings you have?" Why do I base so much of my self worth on the fact that I'm "just a sub" and I don't have a "real" job? Shouldn't I be happy that I'm able to spend more time of these precious years with my children?

I just have this fear that my energy and passion are being wasted not doing what I'm meant to do, what I love to do. Not that I don't love raising my little girls, and it has been luxurious being able to say, "No, I'm not going to work today, I'm going to spend time with my babies because they need me!"

I know this: it is not worth it to just get a job, any job, for the sake of working. History, and the social sciences is what I am passionate about and what I want to teach, and subbing is about as far from that as I'm willing to go. If I can't teach full time then that is what I will do, so that I can make the most out of those opportunities to spend time with my family. Which I do enjoy, really!

The other option is to create my own circumstances and take advantage of opportunities, like I did in MA with the case manager position. I fell into that job, and was allowed to create it into what I wanted and I really thrived at it. I discovered I could be creative, and I felt I was making a difference and was valued. What does that look like here? Is there a market for education consultants? Or a tutoring business? How do I get out of the public education system I'm trapped in (or kept out of, in this case) and create my own opportunities?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Miss Rumphius

The Lupine Lady was one of my favorite books. I remember the images of the eastern seashore and those beautiful flowers in the book, and of the kind lady who wanted to make the world a better place.

“When I grow up, I too will go to faraway places, and when
I grow old, I too will live beside the sea.”
“That is all very well, little Alice,” said her
grandfather, “but there is a third thing you must
“What is that?” asked Alice.
“You must do something to make the world
more beautiful,” said her grandfather.

And so it is Easter. We have been given an incredible gift. We have been shown how much we are loved and how infinate love really is, and we are given the message to go and make of all diciples, to make the world a better place, to share God's message that he loves all of us so much that he gave his son to fight and win against death.

Wow. The definiton of love cannot be described in words, but can be passed on through actions.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Life lessons

I came across this blog.

I like to surf blogs, so I was just clicking on the "view next blog" link at the top, and about the 3rd one was this blog by a HR guy. And the very first post was yesterday, saying it was his last post, ever. I think I just missed something really good.

I feel I should explain where I've been... doing, thinking about doing, or totally avoiding my homework for Local Politics...If anyone still reads this.

Anywho, I am looking for some inspiration, divine intervention, a sign, or for God to smack me over the head with something that will get me out of this lost rut I seem to be in, so I turned back to my blog, even though I should be doing my stupid homework, because writing is a way for me to really think things through and get clear on what I want.

So this blog had these short bursts of posts, something I could never do, because I'd totally forget what I was saying, being the cottonball that I am, and a series of them were labeled "Life Lessons" and were taken from "If Life Is a game, These Are the Rules" by Cherie Carter-Scott. And the one post that I happened to focus on said:

"8) What you make of your life is your choice-you have access to all of the tools and resources that you need.

9) The answers to your challenges are available-all you need to do is look, listen, and trust."

Hmmmmmm. What should I be learning from this?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

More Peace

I'm in Massachusetts right now with my good friend Carrie. She recently gave birth to her third, a beautiful baby girl with a full head of dark hair and a pleasant disposition. I volunteered to fly out for a week to help out by cooking meals, doing laundry, running interference with her other babies, and of course, snuggling and sniffing the baby to give her a break from the endless handling and holding.

I also came to get in the mood. I always thought I was destined to have a large family, maybe 5 or 6 kids, the more the merrier. After I discovered I was not a glowing pregnant lady, but rather a miserable, vomitous whale with blotchy skin, I was less enthused with the idea of going through being knocked up again. But I quickly forget, mommy amnesia, once that beautiful little girl was in my arms. The second one was no better during gestation, and the adjustment from one to two took me completely by surprise. It was not like having just one. It was not easy.

And then I stayed home with them. And I felt like the smart, intelligent woman with the goals and ambition was wasting away, trapped inside my house, forced to watch cartoons and smell like mac and cheese, and wear sweat pants and fuzzy slippers. And baby three didn't seem all that appealing. I was not in the mood.

I have been fixated on getting a job. I know what I want to do, I just need a job. This staying at home stuff was not for me and I was feeling the mommy guilt. I have been taking it for granted that I am able to stay home with my babies.

I realized that on my trip. I have been away from them for long enough. I have visited with former coworkers and friends and I see what I have missed. They have reinforced that I am doing the right thing, I'm where I should be right now in my life. I am missing great moments with my kids. You hear the cliche about how they will never be this little again, and I didn't realize it, but it is spot on.

Maybe it is the intoxicating smell of new baby, or seeing another great mom making it work with her family and enjoying them, but something has clicked on this trip. I feel like I'm finally at peace with were I am right now. If I am not able to get a job, that's okay, there are much more important things than my career right now, and there is plenty of time for that. So I will need to make the most of the time I have with my babies.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My husband's moment

My lovely, wonderful, thoughtful, husband definitely has his moments. And one of those moments happened the other day as he left me with two freshly scrubbed, naked, unhappy children in a smoke filled house with all the windows open, fans at full speed, at a balmy 5 degree temp. outside. This is what happened:

We woke up sort of late and did not get a head start on our children. By the time I got into the shower, Addie was "happily" sitting on the potty, and Emily was hollering "Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy" from her cage of a crib. I hop out, wrap myself in a towel, and start stripping down my very resistant 3 year old. Showers are not her favorite things, but she needed to be clean as we had a doctor appointment at 10. It was now 8:30, and my loving husband, after rescuing Emily, took pitty on me and decided to help me bathe them. I go to get dressed and am greeted by the pleasant smell of toast... yum!

Now dressed, I go to relieve my wonderful husband, and mention, "Oh, you're making toast? Smells good!" He nods, hands a naked baby off to me and starts on the next one. We chat about our happenings, he has meetings and classes and e-mails, I have doctors appointments, meals and poopy diapers. He shaves, I finish and wrap a naked baby in a towel. A door is open and the scent of burnt toast literally rolls in on a cloud of grey smoke...

Here's the malfunction. Our toaster, may it rest in peace, has been on the fritz for years. Many of times would a piece of bread go into its slots, and minutes later it would reluctantly eject it after sparks, jerks, and erratic clunking noises. Usually a flick of the wrist on the push down tab will resolve it, but when left on it's own it would always eventually hork it up. Not this time. This time, it's antics did it in.

So now, with the grey fog lingering in the corners, ceiling fans and box fans in open windows whirring at top speed, the door to the garage open, one cat missing, and the temperature inside the house at 52 degrees, my husband bursts back into the bathroom, which I had shut when I realized we didn't have to evacuate, and breathlessly explains to me that he has a meeting to get to, and he was leaving me... with two naked children, a house full of smoke, all the windows open, and I hadn't even had any coffee... a fine moment!

It still smells like toast...

Saturday, January 16, 2010


I have not been into blogging lately. I am trying to avoid my homework, so here I am. I am desperately, hopelessly, irrationally, penetratingly struck with writer's block when it comes to my homework!

It is painful for me to eek out sentences, paragraphs. I get all worked up just thinking about the amount I have left to do, and it paralyzes me!

So I set my timer (thank you Flylady) because "you can do anything for 15 minutes!"

And it just went off... so here I go begrudgingly back to work...