Friday, May 28, 2010


I've been out of pocket for the last week or so.  Where? No where really, just trying to tie up some loose ends at work before my last contractual today (which is today....can I get a woo hoo?)!

Tomorrow begins a busy summer. I am going to teach a two week workshop on digital film making to a group of sixth graders who will be documenting a summer school thematic program on China.  I am also conducting several iPad workshops for Arkansas teachers.  Can't wait for either of these!

I am also contemplating taking 2-3 classes toward my Ph.D. this summer.  Classes start next Tuesday and I can't get my advisor to call me back though.  I consider this a sign that I should take the summer off!  The id, ego, and super-ego are at war daily on this topic (and MANY others).

As I mentioned earlier, I am switching the girls' rooms.  I've been painting and shampooing carpets, shopping for bedding and accessories, and generally having a blast doing this.  I wish I was rich enough to do the ENTIRE house.  Don says no cause we aren't rich.  He is such a party-pooper sometimes!

On a sadder note, one of my students lost her little boy last Saturday.  She has been on my mind all week.  I don't know how people who lose their children go on.  It is devastating.  I am so thankful for my kids.  They drive me nuts but they are blessings and the joy of my life.  I am so blessed with SO much!  I love my life.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pottery Barn Kids

Because the teenager is moving out in a few months, we've decided to swap the girls' bedrooms.  The teenager is not happy about this and feels like she's being kicked out of the nest, but we feel that the baby needs more room.  Besides, I don't expect the teenarger to visit that much once she's acclimated.  That's my argument.

Anyway, this room-swapping business is turning into a major headache and a lot of work.  I found new bedding and curtains for the teenager's room pretty quickly and even found furniture for the baby's room (goodbye crib!).  However, finding bedding for the little one has turned into a nightmare.

Oh, I found bedding that I love, mind you, but I can't afford it.  Have you ever looked online at Pottery Barn Kids?  I swear their bedding must be gold-plated!  It is ridiculous.  I would not pay those prices for bedding in our master.  So, who are these parents who can afford $600 plus for a twin bedding set?  They aren't in education, I assure you.

Here is a picture of the set that I love.  Now you can see why I desire to replicate it for our little angel.  She would look so cute cuddled up in those pastel nautical colors!

I thought I would be able to replicate it, but I've had a terrible time finding anything similar.  I've been to the very end of the Internet and back, spent countless hours this past weekend bidding on odd pieces on eBay, been to every store (including fabric and decorator stores)....all to no avail.

I won't give up though.  I've come too far.  I've already procurred metal sand pails and commissioned an artist (Don) to "copy" the artwork Pottery Barn is using to accessorize this bed room.  Well, my quest continues.  If you happen across a bargain on any of these pieces (or something comparable), PLEASE let me know...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Being a Single Mom (Temporarily)

This has always been Don's "busy" time of year.  It would seem with the school year winding down that it would actually be slow, but nope.  He is preparing for the state technology conference (he's the coordinator), preparing for the summer courses he will teach at the university, and consulting for schools writing ERATE grants for next school year.  At this time of the year, I feel like a single mom.

This morning, the baby didn't get a bath.  I washed her down with a warm washcloth, pulled her tangled (sticky in places) hair back into a "top knot", and gave her a quick spray of her baby perfume (Degree Honeysuckle Spray - makes stinky babies smell fresh).  We skipped breakfast at home (she usually eats again at school anyway) and settled for a sippy of milk. 

Tonight, we will have the house to ourselves.  Don is working.  The teenager is working (yes, she is employed again, thank God).  It's just the two of us.  We may go out to dinner....Subway, Taco Bell, something quick and baby-friendly.  Then home to wash the baby so she will smell fresh tomorrow morning... 

Friday, May 14, 2010

Isn't this supposed to be a happy time?

If graduation (which entails the exodus of our children from our homes to spread their wings, embrace adulthood, continue their educations, seek summer employment, etc.) is supposed to be a joyous occasion, then why did we all cry like babies last night?

The teenager doesn't graduate until next Friday night, but last night we attended the graduation of our best friends' daughter, Sara.  She and Skyler started K-4 together and remained in the same district until Skyler reached the 6th grade, at which time we made the decision to move her to the school where I was currently teaching.  The "first" was a small community school district where we knew everyone, attended church together, softball practice, baptisms, etc. It was hard to move her, but we felt she would be better off in a bigger district because of the academic advantages that sometimes affords.

Anyway, back to my sad night.  We were so very proud of the accomplishments of these young men and women and we parents did a pretty good job of stiffling the tears until the class song was played during the Rose Ceremony.  By the time the song ended, I was sobbing.  Don was a little misty-eyed, too.  Keep in mind, this wasn't even our kid's graduation.

I guess what makes this occasion so bittersweet is the memory of the first day that these kiddos started school.  Some of them were happy to be there; some (Skyler for one) cried into my photograph for the first week and begged never to return.  The stories of their experiences at school, the drama, the romance, the arguments, and fist fights.  The bus rides, the ball practices, the dates, and the accidents.  There are a million memories attached to this graduating class, many of whom had been together for thirteen years. 

Bittersweet, too, because this time is ending and a new chapter is beginning.  Will it be a happy chapter?  Only time will tell.  But for now, we are proud.  Not just of them, but of us, too.  Didn't we help with homework, projects, and test preparation? 

It WAS a happy night.  I guess I just got a little sentimental.  Imagine what shape I'll be in next Friday, when my own graduate throws her cap?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sometimes I Feel Like an ATM

Sometimes I feel like an ATM.  Almost daily, the teenager shouts down from her bedroom (pedestal/royal tower...whatever you want to call it) for me to please leave money on the kitchen counter for her.  She needs cash to fill up her fuel tank, cash for something at school, cash for this, cash for that.  Well, it all adds up!  She recently went through $53.00 in gas in ONE weekend!

I know that I am "supposed" to provide for her (although she is legally 18 now), but I can't help but wish that she was thankful or considerate in how she spends the money.  It is difficult to hand someone money who immediately grumbles about the small amount.  This morning she asked for $5.00.  I gave her a $20.00 and told her to bring back the change.  Suddenly, she needed $20.00 and the argument began! Ugh!!

Don called at noon with a run-down of expenditures on her for today alone: $350.00 to repair the bumper of a vehicle she backed into last weekend; $185.00 to replace her broken windshield (it was fine in December); $55.00 for an oil change; $60 for gas.  I will be interested to hear if she bothered to say thank you.

I found out yesterday that she's misplaced a textbook and the school said that if she wants to "walk" at graduation, she must pay the $104.00 to replace it!

Well, this ATM is about to run out of money! I will be so glad when she learns that it really doesn't grow on trees.  She has ignorantly made remarks in the past about our "wealth".  Her perception of our debt-to-income ratio is extremely skewed!  Please God, let the concept of money and its value begin to make sense to her soon!!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Potty training assistance needed!

I am out of ideas with this one.  The teenager was easy go wean and easy to potty train.  Everything was on schedule, without a bump.  Not this new baby.  She is capable of using the potty, but has decided against it.

The current view on when to begin training a girl is 18 months.  When she reached that marker, we purchased two different chairs, one for upstairs and one for down, and got busy.  It looked like it was going to be a breeze.  We also thought it might help that she is the youngest in her class at school and everyone else was trained or training.  She played and practiced for a month, pulling her pull-up up and down, sitting, wiping, and washing her hands.

Then something happened.  She lost interest.  We still work with her, offer bribes (incentives is the politically correct term), and cheer loudly at her rare successes.  But at the end of the day, she prefers to pee and poop her pants.  We tried letting her wear them dirty for a little while, hoping the discomfort might encourage her to stop going in her pants, but this kid really doesn't care.  She doesn't even want her diaper changed.  A dirty bottom is just fine.

I know it will happen in time, her own time.  However, any ideas or suggestions from you guys would be greatly appreciated.  I'm out of ideas.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Heimlich Humor

I have always had kind of a sick sense of humor and can get tickled over the most serious situations and circumstances, but yesterday I laughed until my eye make-up was down to my chin because I had to perform the Heimlich maneuver on a complete stranger.

I was attending a luncheon (to which I was not formally invited, but attended anyway because I was hungry) and was sitting at a table with colleagues, listening to a speaker, and chowing down on my box lunch sandwich, when all of a sudden I noticed the man at the table next to me choking.  He was trying so hard to be polite, but once we made eye contact, he began to panic.

I stood up in the middle of the room and said something like, "He's choking! Someone needs to do the Heimlich!"  Everyone in the room stood up, but no one moved forward to assist.  By this time, the man was also standing and clawing at his throat.  I (wearing a leopard print dress and stilettos) ran to his rescue.  The man was "girthy" through the middle and after a couple of unsuccessful hugs, I tried to elicit the gentlemen in the room to assist me.  They all stared back at me, wide-eyed, but didn't budge.  After a couple more attempts, the ham sandwich dislodged and all returned to normalcy.  The speaker picked up where she left off and everyone sat down and resumed their eating.

So why was this so amusing to me?  Well, it wasn't until that afternoon when I recounted the story to my mother on the phone.  It was during this retelling that the situation began to feel like a Seinfeld episode.  I pictured myself in that outfit and shoes, arms stretched to the max, trying desperately to help the poor man and I got hysterical.  It was a good half-hour before I recovered.  Anyway, he lived.  So I guess it's okay to laugh then, right?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mother's Day...For Me???

Well, Mother's Day is this Sunday (for those of you who might have forgotten).  It's our special day, the one day each year when we get to be the center of attention, doted upon, spoiled, etc.  The day when our husbands and children express their thankfulness, love, and adoration for all that we do each day to make their lives wonderful.

Hmmm.  That really never happens (for most of us anyway).  My Mother's Day usually entails a hug and "I love you" from the teenager (once she wakes up around noon and is reminded), and a homemade something (this year a glittery heart made by her teacher) from the baby.  During the afternoon, I slave over a hot stove and prepare a feast for my own mother, grandmother, and mother-in-law.  Don is usually kind enough to clean up the mess afterwards.

But not this year.  I have decided to ask for more.  For Mother's Day, I want:
  • The teenager to stop smoking (she promised last night) and for her to behave herself on prom night this Saturday.
  • The baby to get well for awhile.  She's been ill for twelve days straight!
  • Someone to cook lunch or dinner for ME on Sunday (or better yet, take me out).
I've been thinking all week about what I need to do for the mommas in my life on Sunday, and then it occurred to me: I'm a momma, too.  This year, everyone's getting a gift certificate to the nail salon and a card.  Sorry.  This momma's tired.  Everyone is still loved and appreciated....just as much as in previous years.  I've just decided to celebrate me this year.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Still alive...

I just wanted to touch base with my followers (all seven, or so of you!), to let you know that I am still alive and kicking.  I have been swamped at work and haven't had time to jot down a coherent thought in the past week.  I just gave my last final, so things should slow down and return to normal.

Hopefully, my humor will return and I can provide some comic relief to those of you who need it!