Thursday, April 24, 2008

a snuggle is good medicine

In the middle of the night on Tuesday night, Heather came to our room and woke me up. She said she had a bad dream and wanted to snuggle. Too groggy to protest, I let her in bed with us and went back to sleep.  She ended up staying there the rest of the night. I honestly didn't think much of it and even forgot about the bad dream comment. When I got up in the morning she was adamant about getting up. But it was way too early for her so Greg and I insisted she go back to sleep. She didn't want me to be out of the room and asked when I was going to be taking a shower (I was making Greg's lunch.) So, after Greg left I went back to bed with her for a little while. Yesterday she had a bad day at school and ended up coming to see me in my class for a hug just as it was time for her class to dismiss. While someone else watched my class I took her back to hers and waited for the daycare lady to pick her up. Heather wouldn't really tell me what was wrong. Something finally came out about some boys being not so nice during center time, but I was doubtful that was actually the case. She clung to me and wouldn't go with Janice for the longest time. She loves Janice. Later that evening Greg told me that he asked her about her bad dream and it was that a dog bit her butt off (kinda had to laugh here) so that was probably why she was so clingy. So, when the kids went to bed I told Stephanie to sleep with Heather. I didn't want her to be alone if she had another bad dream. I knew Stephanie's presence would comfort Heather because they are great snugglers. As far as I know, nobody woke up distressed last night. Whew!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

the things I will do for you

This weekend I bought the kids some new P.E. clothes. Well, Heather doesn't have P.E. again until 1st grade, but she likes to dress for P.E. on Stephanie's P.E. days. Last night I asked Stephanie what she wanted to wear for P.E. This is merely a rhetorical question because I prefer she wear something appropriately sporty for P.E. She said she wanted to wear her new clothes. I told her they weren't washed yet. Now, this doesn't really bother me, but Greg likes to have new clothes washed first. Since Heather's eczema has been flaring up, it's probably better to wash them first. 

Stephanie smiled her most conniving convincing smile and said I could just was them before I went to bed and wake up when they were done to put them in the dryer. Let me get this straight, you want me to babysit the washer like it was an infant? You want me to fall asleep then be woken up by a buzzer telling me to get up and switch the laundry loads? You want me to have less than a full night's sleep because you are feeling fashion foward? 

Sure, baby, anything for you.

Well, truth be told, I stayed in bed when the buzzer woke me out of my near-sleep state and put them in the dryer at o'dark thirty when Greg left for work.

So today they wore new P.E. clothes.

Please, children, remember this when I ask you to clean your rooms and the playroom!

to do list

The kids and I are flying (yay!) to Arizona on Friday to visit that beautiful baby, Carter. Oh, and we'll probably talk to Brent and Kim a little bit too. It's funny how having a baby removes you from the center of attention, isn't it?

In the meantime, I've got tons to do:
  1. drive the kids to dance class & read a book while I wait
  2. do laundry ~ clean clothes to take will be nice
  3. take the kids to their dentist appointment
  4. finish my report cards that are due Friday
  5. do more laundry
  6. wash the dishes ~ Greg might like to be able to find a spoon & a bowl for his cereal or can of stew while we're gone.
  7. pack
  8. make a trip to Target
  9. worry that we don't have enough choices and pack some more
  10. do lesson plans for next week

What am I doing sitting here! I've got stuff to do!

Monday, April 21, 2008

pretty green lawn

I'm feeling a little bit scared of how much our next water bill will be. 

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Pack up the kids and the belongins', Mama. We're moving to the midwest to become corn farmers. 

Nah, just kidding.

baby shower

Yesterday, the kids and I went to Carlee's baby shower. Carlee has had a hard time of this pregnancy. There was a tear in her uterus, her cervix had to have a stitch, and she's spent the last month or so on bed rest. Needless to say, she is ready for her baby girl to come in early July. 

Carlee is truly glowing. She will probably protest, but she is all baby. You can't even tell she is pregnant if you can't see her bump. 

The kids had a great time. Of course they got the be-good-or-I'll-beat-you-later lecture before we went. Carlee's mom anticipated kids at the shower so all the kids had to look in the sand for gold coins to redeem a prize of bubbles. What a great way to occupy the kids! Stephanie and Heather particularly loved the seesaw.

Friday, April 18, 2008

i'm sorry

I'm sorry, little girl, that I let my curse gift of procrastination leak all over you! I have tried so hard to teach you how to pace yourself and not let things wait until the last minute. I've tried to encourage you to get started early and go steady.

I've tried, but somehow, I've failed.

I've told you what to do, but I've shown you the complete opposite. I know you've noticed that I will stay up half the night trying to finish a birthday present. I know you've noticed that before we have guests over there is a mad rush to finish cleaning. I know  you've noticed that we are hurried and late everywhere we go. I know you've noticed what a screaming, stressed mess I become in the heat of my demise.

In the process, procrastination got all over you. What a sticky mess! You didn't listen when I nagged encouraged you to read those Accelerated Reader books and take the tests so you could reach your trimester goal. You read, for sure, but not always as much as I would have liked. And not always with the goal in mind. Now, here you are, at the 12th hour, reading furiously and taking tests to make 100% of your goal by the time we go home. Here you are, not playing with your friends on a Friday afternoon, because you got caught in the mire of procrastination. I'm praying you will be able to claw your way out one of these days.

I'm so proud of you for making your goal ~ for being the only one in your class to make your goal. But next time, let's not wait until the last gosh darn minute! Let's get started on your next trimester goal right away!

do you

ever wish you could just undo something? Something very small, in fact.

A few weeks ago I tried to register for a coupon or free sample, can't even really remember what. I've done this before and you fill out a few surveys and you're on your way. Free sample to arrive soon. Oh my! What a treat!

Only this time I decided halfway through the 45,000th survey question that I was done. I exited out and thought nothing of email box was overflowing with JUNK! I hadn't even finished the process, won't get the free sample. But they got my email address (I used an alternate one I have.) My email address got pimped out and I don't even get a free sample of body wash.

So I just keep deleting all emails that want me to buy their little blue pill (cuz I need it?), their vacation package, their diet plan, oh, and meet Mr. Right. Delete. Delete. Delete.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

feeling a little rebellious

We are allowed to wear jeans to school. It's completely within the dress code. My principal, however, has asked that we try to reserve jeans for Fridays. She would prefer we dress professionally for the rest of the week. Well, since you asked so nicely. I usually go along with her request. 

Not today.

I'm wore jeans.

I'm sick of my clothes. I'm bored of my options. Let's face it, I wear the black pants once a week, the brown pants once a week, and probably the tan pants once a week. Then I shake things up with a pair of capris sometimes. Or I wear the other pair of black or brown pants. The only way it's different is what top I pair with the usual suspects of pants. Those choices are getting tiresome too. Also, you know that I need to have ironed clothes. That does not mean I love to iron. Quite the contrary, I don't. So it's a bonus that this outfit required little ironing today.

Hey, at least I wore a cute top and nice sandals.

Since tomorrow is Friday, I'll be wearing jeans then too. 

here comes the bride

I took some serious heat today at lunch for not posting in a few days. This may or may not have come after I wise-cracked about Suzanne and Marian being slow, infrequent posters. Yeah, it's been a few days. So let's get on with it!

This weekend we went to Suzanne's wedding. She cleans up well, don't you think? :) Greg said she looked like a princess. Well said, mister. 

Not very many kids were invited to the wedding, and certainly not many of Suzanne's students. (She was Stephanie's 2nd grade teacher.) So, the kids were very excited to be able to go. 

Ahhh, don't they look cute? 

What's that under her dress? Flip flops? Yup, cuz that's how Suzanne rolls. Her bride's maids wore black flip flops under their pretty purple dresses.

It's nice to see the dance lessons are paying off! Stephanie was definitely bustin' some moves on the dance floor. She and Greg had a little dance off toward the beginning of all the dancing. 

Heather was a little shy about dancing at first, but eventually she warmed up to the idea of it. She required hand-holding at all times, though.

Mary Ann was kind enough to oblige in some hand-holding, kid group dancing. 

Suzanne and Dustin left the traditional wedding cake behind in favor of cupcakes! Lots of people shouted for them to shove the cake in each others' faces. But they were really sweet about it. 

Mary Ann caught the bouquet. There's a funny story here, scroll down.

Mary Ann is such a modest girl. As I've mentioned before in this post, it doesn't take much racy talk to send her into a full blush. So she catches the bouquet ~ even seemed to want the bouquet. Yay, Marry Ann. Then Dustin throws the garter. A relative of Suzanne's caught it. Then the DJ announces that it is custom in our city for the guy who caught the garter to put it on the girl who caught the bouquet. What? Sheer fear sets in her face, along with a little red. She's probably thinking right about now that if she shoves the bouquet into some unsuspecting hand of another single gal no one might notice. She's probably eyeing the closest exit. But no, being a good sport she giggles nervously and sits on the chair. The guy proceeds to put the garter on her...up high...on her thigh. The picture I have is of his hands up her skirt! Oh! I'm not posting that one because I don't want to totally embarrass her! On a positive note, the guy did introduce himself before feeling her up. Very gentlemanly, don't you think?

a little behind

Have you been keeping track of my daily photo posts? Of course you are. Then you will have noticed that they haven't been happening on a daily basis this week. I'm a little behind. I'll be getting back with you about that. I promise. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

just a little crush

For those of you who don't already know, the littlest monkey in this house is boy crazy! She's only in kindergarten and is totally crazy about boys! She will often tell me that someone she sees is so cute. I'm a little scared for us later. We will have to chain her in her room when she is a teenager. 

At Suzanne's wedding this weekend she developed a 6-year old crush on Mary Ann's boyfriend, Scott. She was supremely flirting with him, complete with the coy look and little giggle. Where did she learn this stuff? He played along and flirted right back. She was in heaven. If I'm not mistaken, I think they even had some actual conversation during dinner. It was so cute. She wanted me to take her picture with him and you can see that she is absolutely giddy. 

Monday, April 14, 2008

be careful

This is what might happen if you sweet talk your husband into going to the grocery store with you after church without lunch and you happen to pass a very large display of 10 for $10 sugary, chocolately goodness. Then he will tell you it's ok because he worked overtime this week and therefore not only can we spend the money, but he deserves it. Then you might laugh because he's so gosh darn cute and you will tell him to be sure to get Butterfinger and Baby Ruth for you. Oh, and you will probably grab a few Kit Kat packages because you know the kids like those.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

drum roll, please

It's time. The baby blades are growing taller and taller. So Greg mowed the back yard for the first time today. We stood and watched like we'd never seen him mow before. Back and forth. Back and forth. I'm sure he appreciated the audience. No one is allowed to play on the grass yet, which is slowly killing the kids, blade by blade. 

After the first mowing, Greg found this little lady by the back porch. 

Heather's heart swelled with love as she saw that her lady bug had indeed stayed in our yard and had even come back to the porch for a visit. Heather put her on her arm and cooed at her. Stephanie counted the spots and determined that she was in fact the same lady bug we let loose last week. Funny, I thought the last one was red. Hmm.

it's not dark yet

It's Saturday. I am refusing to start cooking dinner tonight until the sun is down. It's time we eat a sensible hour. None of this eating dinner in the daylight today! I'm just gonna have to put my foot down. 

just look at these beauties

Remember this post when Greg commented on the poor condition of my feet and bird-pecked toes? Well, I got two gift certificates for pedicures for my birthday. Hmmm. Somebody else must have noticed too. One was from Beasley (a friend from school who defected to Mississippi). She gave Charlotte one for her birthday too. So today we went to get our birthday pedis and go out to lunch. We usually go to the same shop. And even though we go only a few times a year, the girls have mentioned before that they remember us. Seriously! Who could forget us? They probably take one look at us when we walk in and say to each other, in Korean of course, that there's those girls. You know, the one who takes care of her feet and her friend who lets the birds do her pedi on a regular basis. Then they probably do paper-rock-scissors when we aren't looking to decide who has to fix my nasty feet. They are probably taking bets on whether or not the palm sander will be required. 

I'm happy to say the the palm sander was not necessary afterall, although quite a bit of pumice was used!

birthday present

I made this birthday/anniversary calendar for Charlotte's birthday. For each month, you write in any birthdays, anniversaries, etc. you want to remember from year to year. On the right is a place to put a photo of some of the special people that have an event that month. This was originally supposed to be a Christmas present, but, yeah, things get pushed back once in a while. The funny part of the story is that just two weeks ago, when I made Suzanne's recipe box Charlotte complained that I don't make her anything. See? I sure do. And not because you said anything ~ it was already partly made when you made that comment.

Partly made, however, doesn't mean finished ahead of time. I stayed up late last night and got up early this morning to work on it. I put the finishing touches on this baby at 10:20 this morning, still unshowered. I was supposed to pick her up at 11:00. I was only 15 minutes late. :)

Friday, April 11, 2008

lunch anyone?

Every Friday, the 2nd grade teachers take turns bringing lunch for each other. It's nice not to worry about lunch on Fridays and we also get to have a variety of different meals. Not the same old frozen meal! Today it's my turn to bring lunch. We're having sour cream chicken enchiladas, rice, and mock fried ice cream. 

Oh, and don't forget the coordinated paper goods! One time we were planning some event as a grade level. As we were deciding what each of us would bring, Kristin said she'd bring paper goods. Of course, with my sassy, bossy self, I told her not to buy boring white stuff, but to get something cute. She did for that event. But then the next time it was her turn for lunch, she set the table with a mish mash of left over, unmatching plates & napkins...just for me. 

If you are wondering how to make mock fried ice cream and have never had it at my house before, here goes ~ layer in your bowl scoops of vanilla ice cream (Breyer's of course), frosted flakes, and drizzles of honey, then sprinkle cinnamon over the top. Don't be a doubter ~ try it! Delicious!  

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

more sewing adventures

Suzanne is getting married on Sunday. A few weeks ago she asked me to make her a bag for the dollar dance at her reception. Um. Ok. I emailed her a couple of sites with gorgeous bags for very reasonable prices. There was this swiss dot one that was so cute. I would have picked that one. But, she still wanted me to make it. So I bought the material (she requested purple) and waited ~ until almost the last minute. Sometimes starting a new project scares me into "craft paralysis." Well, here's the final product.  

It's not the picture of cuteness that I had envisioned in my mind. But Suzanne liked it. 

ironing obsession

I've been getting my hair done by a new lady these past few times. Saturday all of us gals had an appointment. At one point she said, "You iron their shirts, don't you?" What gave it away? The crisp look? The crease in the sleeve? 

morning routine

When Stephanie was a toddler and eating her breakfast at daycare, I tried to let her sleep as long as possible in the morning. I'd try to get her up, get her dressed and hair done (yes, always the hair done!) quickly, and leave. That backfired in a big way. I learned the hard way that she needs to be eased into the morning. When being forced up, it needs to be done in increments. So I'd wake her up and plop her on the couch in front of her favorite show. Sometimes she fall back asleep, sometimes not. Over the years the routine changed some and she ended up in my bed after her first wake up. It's a nice time to snuggle daddy. Her second wake up is no easier. She doesn't like to be woken up! So, sometimes I have no choice but to get loud and forceful. I've had to manhandle her to pull her out of bed and force her to a standing position at times. 

These days, daddy is working early so they just snuggle each other. They negotiate more sleep time by taking their breakfast to school with them on some mornings.

Monday, April 7, 2008

holy crap it's early!

Remember a few weeks ago when I told you that Greg was going to be the deck captain at work? This involved getting up earlier. Well, since that day he has not been the deck captain, just unloading cans. We've had to get up at either 4:30 or 5:00 each morning. This is early because 5:30 is when I usually get up when Greg left at a later time. NOW, he is really the deck captain. This means he has to get there before all the guys who unload the cans & get everything in place for the day, run reports, etc. This means we have to get up at 4:00! Actually, I don't have to get up, I could still sleep. But then the boy wouldn't eat breakfast or have any lunch to take and that would just be such a bad deal for everyone involved. Yeah, I'm sorta nice that way. Guess we're eating dinner early these days for sure.

The dishes goal? Screw that one! I'm rooting for clean laundry these days!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

lip smackin' good

We went to Lucille's for Greg's dad's birthday tonight. The kids wanted ribs. Who are we to say no? They have such good eating habits for kids and will try just about anything once. They've had ribs before and like them. Mmm mmm. Aren't they good? Just ask Heather!

first fruits

This year we are conducting a test garden. Our small garden is located in the perfect little alcove in the backyard. It gets some good morning sun, but not too much the rest of the day. It is protected from the winds that sometimes rage down the side of our house and into the backyard. 

A few times we've gotten excited about planting vegetables and go all out, filling the whole garden with what we've chosen. When we've made the wrong choice, the whole garden fails. We feel lousy and then have to wait for nice weather to try again. 

This year we've decided instead of buying 2,700 of the same plant or seed, we'd try just one or a few of several things. So we have a tomato plant, a chive plant, a bell pepper plant, and a strawberry plant. We planted some seeds for corn, pumpkins, and beans. We'll see what works this year, then plant more of that next year. Test garden. Ingenious idea!

Four strawberries were ready to pick today. One for each of us.

They were delicious. 

all fun and games

Friday was Field Day at school. Oh, how the kids love this day. The morning is filled with all sorts of P.E. type games. In the afternoon the 5th graders play the teachers in a vicious rousing game of kickball. The teachers always win. Always. We have no mercy. I say "we" like I get out there to kick the ball and run my jiggly self around the bases. Ha! Last year I did play. I kicked the ball well, too. And I ran. Not this time. I sat with my class while we rooted for the teachers to win. Second graders are still on the teachers' side and want us to win. I will have to play again when Stephanie is in 5th grade, I imagine. 

Charlotte, Silva, and I got matching shirts for the occasion. Charlotte said she'd only have her picture taken if I didn't put it on my blog. Ok, suit yourself. 

Stephanie was soooo excited about Field Day. The fervor was right up there with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. Most importantly she loves the games involving water. There are usually about three. She didn't get too wet. 

Of course, ready to point out any injustices, Heather was not happy about Field Day. Kindergarten does not participate in the whole school Field Day. They have their own Field Day later on. Well, this just was not hitting the fair button with her. All she knew was that Stephanie was having fun and she was not. It completely escapes her that Stephanie had to wait, just like this to be involved in the whole school event. The only difference is that Stephanie was less aware of it because she doesn't have a big sister to tell her such things are going on.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

little lady

Yesterday, when I picked Heather up from daycare she brought home this ice cream tub. She had caught a lady bug at school and her teacher helped her prepare it for travel. This little hotel was complete with grass and ventilation holes. On the way to dance, she told me how she held the bucket carefully so the lady bug would not get hurt on the way from school to daycare. The bus ride is a little bumpy, especially where speed bumps are involved.

She really wanted to keep the lady bug and was even trying to think of names for the gal. 

We convinced her that the best thing would be to let the lady bug stay in her hotel for the night, then set her free in the backyard this morning. We explained carefully that we needed the lady bug to eat the potential nasty bugs that may be in the backyard. We convinced her that setting her free was the right thing to do.

So this morning, we set her free in the backyard. Heather left her hotel on the back porch, lid off, just in case she wanted to visit it again. 

Heather is certain she will stick around our backyard and not be tempted to fly off to greener yards. Our, afterall, is really coming along.

shoe store robot

This past weekend when Heather and I went shopping we stopped at a huge shoe store. I'm always in search of the perfect sandals, both black and brown. I had the perfect pair of brown sandals several years ago and wore the heck out of them. And of course, I do not want to pay a fortune for these perfect sandals. I want a deal. I trolled the aisles of this mega shoe palace ~ twice. I just might have missed that perfect pair the first time with so many inferior pairs blocking my view. Nope. Nothing. As we were walking out of the store, the guy at the front counter said, "Did you find everything you needed?" Huh? I looked behind me to see who Al Bundy was talking to. I was the only one there. I'm clearly walking out of the store, not up to the counter with my arms full of a tower of boxes and a shoe-intoxicated grin on my face! Wait, let me check. Yes, just as I thought. Nothing is in my hands. I just looked at him, smiled, and said, "Actually, no." and continued out the door.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

the big day is here

It's my birthday, and I'll work even if I don't want to. 

Well, this much anticipated birthday has come and kissed me full on the lips with welcome (no tongue, please). Since I haven't keeled over, I suppose I will survive. :)

This is what happens when the 6-year old takes my picture. Just as she heard the click she started handing it back to me. Kinda fun, actually, but a bit blurry.

Charlotte left these daffodils by my classroom door this morning. What a cheerful welcome to work! They smell wonderful. They remind me of Texas. Someone must have had them in their yard when I lived there as a kid because one whiff and I was transported to a different place and time.

One of the other teachers shares his birthday with me. Well, I guess I share it with him since he's older. Anyway, every year he brings me a little something from his garden. Really sweet.

Other than warm well wishes and some flowers from coworkers and family, this has been an ordinary day. Work, grading papers, giving 'the look' to a few students, dance class for the kids, dinner, and soon off to bed. We did bring home Panda Express (screw the wallet and waistline tonight) for dinner. I will probably have to roll myself down the stairs because I'm so stinkin' full. But you better believe I'll pop open another Dr. Pepper before I go to bed. Panda always makes me soooo thirsty.

As I was sitting at dance class tonight, I was thinking that there's nowhere I'd rather be. Not necessarily dance class itself cuz the bench is kinda hard and I get a sore bum, but this life, the way it's mine. I love being married and having children. I love Greg and these children we have. I love being a teacher even though I frequently feel like pulling my hair out over the job. I love the house, messy as it continues to be. I just love this spot in life. Sure, things aren't pristinely perfect. I could be a better mother, wife, house cleaner, teacher, money manager, etc. There's so much to be improved upon. But right now, in this moment, it's just right for us.

I still don't feel as old as I am, and I hope I never actually feel my age. When I think of the number of years as time passing by, I cannot even fathom it. I guess that is just because I am really meant to be only 25!

show some respect

It's my birthday ~~ need I say more?

from the box

Sometimes at the end of the day we go around and tell the best thing and the worst thing that happened in the day. So, the four of us were having a bedtime snuggle:

Me: Daddy, what was the best part of your day? (In my mind, I'm thinking ~ don't say dinner.)

Greg: Dinner.


You see, because we get home so late on Monday nights, Greg started dinner. Being a man of few culinary skills there are only a few things he will concede to cooking. The dreaded box above is one of them. We are trying to not bring home fast food on late nights ~ you know, keep the wallet fatter and hiney smaller. If I cook dinner it often makes our day sooo very late and the kids and Greg get to bed way too late. So, as one of our very quick choices I've given in to the box a few times a month. Blech! Although Greg and the kids like it, I've never really enjoyed the Helper and totally cannot stand any of them that have the cheese powder. I've also been trying to make less things from a box to cut down on the number of preservatives in our meals (and because I can). So the night of the Helper box is a huge compromise for me.