Friday, March 30, 2007
Well, friends, I had to hang up the cape last night. I hit the proverbial brick wall. Wednesday night I stayed up until 12:30 writing one of those papers for my class this weekend, after working all day, having a dentist appt, eating dinner with my dear church friends, going to Barnes and Noble to find a text book. Oh, and did I mention bathing M? Putting her to bed?
Thursday went like this: work all day, pick M up from school, come home to a madhouse of men installing a new air conditioner (please don't ask about that...I'll CRY!), visit with my best friend from college for no more than 5 minutes, send H to the grocery store and Chick-fil-A for dinner, feed M, bath M, put M to bed, finally begin my 2nd paper around 7 PM--in a house with no AC.
On top of all that madness, I agreed to bake cookies for a bake sale. WHAT IN THE WORLD WAS I THINKING?
So, something had to go. But what? I had to write my paper. My friends were counting on my cookies.
It was time to hang up the cape.
And guess who was there to wear it in place of me? H. Yep, that's right. H, who is usually a pretty good husband, baked those cookies for me. When the computer crashed about 30 minutes after my last save on my edited papers, he was right here helping me. He searched and searched for them while I sat here sobbing. He even heard the timer for the cookies and ran downstairs to take them out of the oven before using his superhuman powers to find my papers! Today he hand delivered the cookies (with my name on them!!) for the bake sale.
Anyone know where I can find a good gift for my husband of the year? Maybe he does deserve that Wii system for Father's Day.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Real moms NEVER have a firm grasp on their life. Every once in a while they THINK they are one step ahead, then they remember they are constantly trying to catch up. I'm standing on the carousel of life and I'm having trouble getting my bearings! I've felt that way for the past 18 months. I stand still and life twirls around me, out of my control. There are brief moments of clarity, but mostly that swirly feeling you get when you are dizzy. And you wouldn't trade that feeling for anything else in the world.
I tag my sewing and photography hero Stacy at: http://the-kraft-family.com/WordPress/ and
my friend Susie at: http://www.lovekampfamily.blogspot.com/.
(I borrowed this from Melody...I'm all typed out tonight. I finally finished one of my papers!)
If you have not been tagged specifically and your are reading this, you are now officially tagged. Read all about the Real Mom meme and go here for inspiration from others. Post your response on your blog; please come back and comment here so that I (and others) may read your inspiring, hilarious or insane words; and let Kristen know your post is up to be included in the original index.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
These pictures* tell the story of the longest 34 second hell in the lives of M and Noah. Carousel hell. Susie, Noah's mom, and I wanted to take the kids on the carousel at the little fair. The horses were beautiful and beckoned us to ride. So, our husbands chunked out the THREE DOLLARS (per kid) for the kids to ride. Did you catch that...THREE DOLLARS a ride!?! As a little aside, Susie is due with baby Madeline in three weeks. Susie and I carefully picked out a horse for each child. M's was a beautiful white horse, fully decorated with gold and pink. Noah had a gorgeous stallion. We should have seen trouble coming our way when Noah absolutely REFUSED to sit on his horse. M at least sat on her for the 45 seconds we waited for the ride to start. Susie was trying to untangle herself from Noah's grip, but he wasn't having anything to do with that. Did I mention that the guys paid three dollars a kid for this experience? Then the ride started. Noah was perched on Susie's stomach. M was sitting daintily on her horse. All was going well. Please look back at the first picture now. Do you see my hair? Totally parted on the wrong side. That wasn't a fashion statement for the day. Oh, no. THE. CAROUSEL. WAS. GOING. AT. WARP. SPEED. We were going faster than a speeding bullet. We were going faster than the speed of sound. We were going faster than the speed of light. M started to cry (picture 2). Noah was shrieking. M flung herself into my arms. Notice Susie and I are laughing while our kids cling to us (picture 3). We paid good money for this. Someone should be enjoying it! Noah held onto Susie with his mighty death grip for the remainder of the ride (picture 4). If Noah could have melded himself into Susie, I think he would have. I think we went around atleast 20 times. Susie and I were dizzy when those darn horses ceased their gallop. When the carousel hell was over, I plopped M back on her horse so we could TRY to have a nice photo taken. Her little knuckles were white from holding on so tight (picture 5). All this took place in a matter of 34 seconds.
So, parents out there...if you are thinking of putting your kids on a nice, gentle carousel, I suggest watching it a few times to make sure it isn't a twirl-a-whirl in disguise. M and Noah are scarred now. I doubt they will ever be able to ride a carousel without flashbacks to the worst 34 seconds of their lives.
I hope Susie will post her point of view on the whole experience. I'll let you know if she does.
* These pictures are very, very cropped. For some reason, they were coming up sideways, so I had to crop them so they would be in the right direction. There are others that are funnier, but couldn't get them to show up in the right direction. If anyone has any tips, please let me know!
Sunday, March 25, 2007
This is another of my favorite pictures from the weekend. There is no editing. This is the image straight from the camera. Perhaps I could improve it a little, but I just want to enjoy it a while longer just as it is.
I took tons of pictures this weekend at the Cherry Blossom Festival. I'll post a few later this week for my own enjoyment--and maybe yours to. Just a little warning--bring tissue for the carousel pictures. You'll laugh until you cry.
Don't forget to check out Picture This (http://picturethis.clubmom.com/) for other My Best Shot pictures. These people have talent, I'm telling you.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
I can see clearly now...
Friday, March 23, 2007
1.) I've already mentioned Melody at http://slurpinglife.typepad.com/. Drop by there today. She has the MOST beautiful picture of two of her boys when they were babies. And her comment is pretty funny, too.
2.) I want to be real life friends with Stacy over at http://the-kraft-family.com/WordPress/ (aka The Land of K.A.). She writes like me, only MUCH, MUCH, MUCH better, with a little of this and a little of that. She's an awesome seamstress. She's got two of the cutest toddlers you'll ever see. And she's real. She doesn't fake it. When she's frustrated, you can tell (FYI: Don't send your kids knocking on her door to sell school fundraisers!). You get a little glimpse into her life every time you stop by.
3.) Moreena was the whole reason I got into blogs. She's at http://thewaitandwonder.clubmom.com/ . I can't remember how I came across her old blog, but she was hired by clubmom to write about raising a child with a chronic health condition. She is inspiring, funny, thoughtful. One day I might write like she does. Her girls are precious. I often laugh out loud at their antics. I also read several other blogs at clubmom since I've been a Moreena fan. You'll like her, too.
4.) I'm learning to be a better photographer from Tracey at http://picturethis.clubmom.com/. She's the neato lady who does My Best Shot each Monday. You should stop by one Monday and just see the amazing pictures other bloggers submit. It's a real inspiration.
5.) Since I've got several autistic students this year, I am so thankful that I discovered Kari and her son at http://karianna.clubmom.com/karianna_spectrum/. The Cat is a little younger than my kids, but Kari is an amazing person to bounce ideas around with when I'm struggling with one of my second graders. She also provides a new perspective on the home life of some of my students and what the parents are struggling (or celebrating) with.
6.) I adore Kyla and KayTar at http://khebert.blogspot.com/. KayTar is a slight bit older than M, so I love watching (er, um, reading about) all the new things KayTar is learning to do. Kyla is an awesome mom. BubTar (KayTar's older brother) is an absolute riot. You'll enjoy reading about his exploits as a preschooler.
7.) http://www.ninetynineballoons.com/ I'm not sure what to say about this blog other than it's one of the most inspiring you'll ever read. Matt (a law student) and Ginny (a jewelery designer) are the parents of a little boy named Eliot who was born with Trisomy 18. He lived exactly 99 days. They started the blog so their friends, and ultimately anyone in cyberspace, could read about his birth, life, and his impact on the world. I cry every time I read it. They are SO. REAL. about pain and love and regrouping after the loss of a child. Eliot's story touches so many lives every day. Ginny designed a necklace to raise money for an undecided cause. She and Matt are tossing around ideas. Whenever I wear his (Eliot's) necklace, I get to share a tiny bit of his story with others.
8.) I grew up in a town about 3 hours from where I live now. There was a woman, Karin who taught my youngest brother, who married a man, Mark. They attend my family's church in that town. They had a baby about two weeks after M was born. When Karin went back to work, Mark was diagnosed with Follicular Lymphoma, a non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma . His blog is: http://mbestvsnhl.blogspot.com/ Mark is over 100 days post stem-cell transplant and doing great.
The strangest thing is that there is a young college student, Lindsay, engaged to a young college student named Jacob, that attended church with us where we live now. Lindsey is diagnosed with the same exact Lymphoma. She's even having her stem cell transplant at the same hospital. You can read her journey at http://lwvshl.blogspot.com/index.html.
9.) Want to see M's boyfriend? This blog is for a real life friend, Noah, and his parents and soon to arrive little sister. Noah is exactly 7 weeks older than M. His mom and I had so much fun being pregnant at the same time last go around. I couldn't keep up with her this time, though. Noah and M love, love, love each other. They are so sweet together. Noah is ALL boy and M is a bossy girl. We'll see how the plays out over the next few years.
This is by no means a complete list of the blogs I read. Once I find one, I tend to hop around their comment section and read others. I get hooked for a while then move to something else. My blog list is rather extensive right now. I probably need to cut back and spend more time in the real world!! I hope you enjoy a few of these blogs.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
My blog best friend is Melody. She's at: http://slurpinglife.typepad.com/ She's AMAZING! Melody is a great mom--you can tell by her sweet, precious entries of her sons. Of which she has 4--one biological, he's older, and three adopted, each with his own special needs that are medical, academic, emotional, etc. I want to take her out for a cup of coffee one day and soak up her kindness, wisdom, class, etc. I am not exactly sure I remember how I stumbled across her blog. She's uplifting and real. She doesn't sugar coat her life, but she makes you have a great desire to be a part of it. Melody, thanks for including the Benson's in your blog. I really can't tell you how much that meant to me.
I'm trying to think of an interesting or humorous or creative entry to share with you today. I think I'll focus on "the other stuff" part of today.
1.) My student with the facial injury returned to school this week. I saw a different side of my students when she returned. Their kindness and thoughtfulness touched me in a way that I had not been moved by this particular class this year. When she (the injured student) didn't come back last Friday, they wanted to decorate her desk. So, I got bulletin board paper and we drew all over it and put it around her desk. When she came in Monday morning, the other students reacted like she was their long lost sister.
2.) I've been having some behavior issues with some of my kids. I'll be the very first to admit that I have a long way to go before becoming the teacher that I want to be--you know, the one who says to h#** with the testing, I'm going to TEACH. I have a student teacher this year who still has a long way to go. She's just not "there" yet--at that place where a first year teacher should be. So, some of the behaviors I see are a result of having wishy-washy authority. Sometimes me, sometimes her, etc. Some of the behaviors are a result of the fact that I started the year with a kidney stone and I was just there to be the final authority. I truly cannot remember the first day of school.
SOOOO, I've about had it with some of the behavior of a few of my students. I will not, under any circumstances, tolerate disrespect of an adult. I have one normally precious little boy who has developed this rather annoying habit of feigning innocence when corrected and then pouting like a two year old when he is in trouble. Today he was sent back to his desk from carpet time. When he finally put his little behind in his chair, he began making this rather heinous "humph"ing noise. I finally lost it. I marched myself by his desk and said, between gritted teeth for effect, "Follow me, NOW." I marched out of the room, with a terrified little guy behind me. On the way to the office I was debating: mother? father? mother? father? mother? father? "Is your dad on the train?" I asked. (as in a real railroad train) "I don't know," he pouted. "Is your mom at work?" I asked. "I don't know," he pouted. "Not to worry. I'll contact SOMEONE." I promised. When we got to the phone, I asked the dreaded question: "Who fusses at you more?" "My dad," he said as he rather easily gave up the information I needed. He realized, too late, that he'd given me the person he wanted to talk with the least. Oh, how the River Nile flowed from his eyes then.
Me: "Mr. So-and-So? This is...."
Father: "Why is that boy crying?" (notice that he didn't even have wait to hear my introduction)
Me: "We're having a little trouble with..."
Father: "Oh, no...there is no "we're." HE'S having a little trouble. Now, tell me, exactly what is he having trouble with?"
Me: "Oh, accepting responsibility for his actions, pouting, sitting quietly in his seat when he's removed from the group."
Father: "Put him on the phone, please."
At this point, my little student is nearly hyperventilating with his sobbing. I couldn't hear the father's end of the conversation, but the child's went like this:
"Yes, sir." Sob.
"Yes, sir, I'm very sorry for being disrespectful to my teacher."
"Yes, sir, I was making noises in my chair."
"Yes, sir, I can accept responsibility for my actions."
"Yes, sir." Hiccup.
"Yes, sir, she's my favorite teacher."
"Yes, sir." Sob.
"Yes, sir, I want to stay at school today."
"Yes, sir." Hiccup
"Yes, sir, I'll apologize and mean it."
Sometimes when you need to be the most firm, you want to laugh the most. Can I tell you how hard it was to keep a straight face as I listened to this exchange?! And can I also tell you how sweet he was the rest of the day. Ahhhh....calling parents is priceless.
On the Benson home front: M and I had a picnic at her new table today. She fed herself a whole container of yogurt. Pictures to come soon.
Thanks for stopping by!
Monday, March 19, 2007
Sunday, March 18, 2007
I ADORE the sweet journal. I don't normally make projects like that because they're so cute that I don't want to use them, but I do want a notebook to take notes, etc., so I plan on using this one up! And what better way to promote SU! than to tote around handmade items!?! I love the chabby chic look, but I haven't perfected my style with it. I think the journal is a nice attempt at chabby chic. I really like the layered look.
The other thing I used on the journal that I love is the accent and elements from the spring mini catalog. These were the first I'd bought--they are so fun and easy to use! Definitely a must have from now on!
The card layout came from the demonstrator planner. Not my favorite color combination, but not bad. I love, love, love the petals and paisley set. Of course I like that card better. I'm going to look around for some more ideas to go with that layout and color combo. I'm sure there is something out there that I'll fall in love with.
Thanks for stopping by!
I'm off to read my 7 articles and write a response, then clean the house, then get the mail ready for tomorrow!
In order to get the pictures I had to tuck the pant pretty far up into the shirt. Both of these outfits are pretty big on her so she can wear them this year and next year. I love adding a little extra to the bottom of the pants. I found that pretty pink and white trim on the pants at Hobby Lobby, of all places. The top outfit was fun to make...I'd never made anything like it before. I actually did the shirt in sewing class. I taught myself to cover buttons. The buttons are the same fabric as the stripe on the pants. They don't show up quite as well as I had hoped, but over all I'm pleased with both of these outfits.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
1.) Finish sewing pink outfit and red and blue outfit. (CHECK!!! Pictures coming tomorrow)
2.) Sort hand me downs. (CHECK)
a.) Put hand me downs in my own bins. (CHECK)
b.) Put other bins in my car to be returned. (CHECK...even cleaned them good)
3.) Clean house
4.) Finish happy mail for secret sister (CHECK...and this project is SOOO cute!)
5.) Go to bank (CHECK)
6.) Get everything ready to be mailed Monday
a.) Happy mail for secret sister
b.) Mini-catalogs for customers
c.) Brother's birthday stuff that is over a month late
7.) Get tickets ready for Annual Women's Conference at church (CHECK)
8.) Read all seven articles and write response paper for graduate school
Please note that I've done every single fun thing on the list, including sewing, crafting, and depositing other people's money into my checking account. I even made it by Kohl's for their early bird sale to buy myself a new Easter outfit, ate lunch out with H and M, went to the Cherry Blossom store AND took a nap.
But did I clean house? Nope.
Did I look up the first article for my graduate class? Nope.
Did I get the mail together? Nope.
My sweet brother probably thinks I don't care that his birthday was more than a month ago. I even made him a card to be mailed before his birthday, but decided to wait until I had his present ready.
I'm just slack. Good thing I have one more day of this weekend. I'm going to need it if I plan on getting any of the IMPORTANT stuff done!
I need to make a new list that says:
1.) CLEAN HOUSE.
b.) wash clothes
c.) clean shower
d.) hire a maid
2.) READ ARTICLES AND WRITE 5-7 PAGE RESPONSE.
a.) Take a day off work to get this done.
3.) GO TO POST OFFICE WHEN YOU TAKE DAY OFF WORK.
a.) call brother and beg for forgiveness
I'm setting the alarm clock so I can get all this done!
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
1.) Today was the HARDEST day of my teaching career...in seven years, today was the hardest. I had my first real injury. My mind's eye has replayed it a zillion times since two o'clock. An eight year old little girl stumbled over another child's chair and went face first into our cubbies. The sound of her precious cheek connecting with the wood will haunt me tonight in my dreams. Her scream shook the school. I'm not sure how I manuvered over the other children, but I had her in my arms as fast as I physically could. I was rocking her and whispering to her. I could not hear another sound but my own whisper. The only sight I could see were her eyes staring at me. Then I saw the blood and realized, I knew, my instincts told me, that she needed to get the to ER. There was SO. MUCH. BLOOD. I couldn't tell where it was coming from, but it was more blood than should ever, ever, ever come from the face of your student. I had her up and walking toward the elevator as I screamed down the hall for someone to cover my class. The next 20-30 minutes are a blur--the next thing I clearly remember is her mother's reaction to the wound. I'm surprised she held it together. I truly thought the nurse was going to have two patients. So, I sent one of my little students to the ER. Tonight at 9:30, she and her mom await the plastic surgeon's visit to repair her sweet little face. She'll have a scar and I have a blood soaked shirt. This was the hardest day of my teaching career.
2.) M is still sick. Yesterday when I stayed with her, she was fussy and crabby, but no fever. Today, after sending one kid to the ER, I got the dreaded call from the babysitter--M is running a fever again. So, I called H and he stepped up to the plate--bat in hand, ready to swing at the pitch. He's taking him with her tomorrow. Why should this exhaust me? Because last night, when I went to book club for 1 hour, he decided to give her dimetapp. I'm sure this knocks most kids out, but not little M. Oh, no...SHE WAS WIRED. Wide open. She was JUMPING in her crib, laughing hysterically, then sobbing, then laughing, then sobbing, then laughing (get the picture?!?!). Finally I got her up and took her to our bed around 10. After being punched in the face for 20 minutes, I thought to myself, it's time for her to run this off. So, breaking a cardinal parenting rule (the one that says NEVER get your kid up after she's been put down for the night), I got her up and took her downstairs, where she ran, with her hands waving in the air, the length of the house atleast 150 times laughing like a maniac. I finally caught her when I held out a sippy cup with the beloved milk in it. She drank like she was a gypsy in the desert who had discovered a wating hole. Let's all pray H does NOT get the brainstorm of medicating M again tomorrow. Oh, wait...if he does, he'll have to put up with her!
3.) I'm tired of having the battle of having to work when M is sick or staying at home with her. I love teaching...I really do. But I feel guilty when I leave M and she needs me and I feel guilty when I take the day off because she needs me! Guilt is an emotion I just can't shake. I'm tired of feeling guilty.
So, that about sums me up today. Tired.
I'm going to sew... I'll post lots of pictures this weekend.
Monday, March 12, 2007
M and I will be staying home together tomorrow. Her babysitter called after the kids' afternoon nap and told me she was running 103 temp. Thankfully I have a full time student teacher, so I could leave immediately. Her pediatrician saw us within thirty minutes. No ear infection, no strep (thank GOODNESS!) and no flu (Thank you, Lord). She must just have a virus. I'm going to watch her carefully tomorrow. I can take her back if I feel she's not fairing well. She's had a nasty cough for a few days that H and I were watching closely.
While I hate that she's sick, I'm looking forward to a quiet day with just the two of us. I adore those quiet hours when we can play and read books without rushing to get to school or rushing to get dinner ready or rushing to bed. I yearn for the summer when we get to be on OUR schedule.
I want to share pictures of the 2nd grade play with you. I'll remember to bring my camera home Wednesday and post a few pictures. The kids did an outstanding job. They were giving us a heart attack, though! This is an 11th hour group--they didn't pull it together until the very last possible second. But they didn't disappoint. They did a job that shocked parents, teachers, and administrators. Kudos to the second graders!
Saturday, March 3, 2007
When I got pregnant with M, I was scared. More scared than anything else. Not much has changed. Every time something new happens, my first emotion is fear. Can I handle this? Am I strong enough for this? There are ABSOLUTELY moments of complete and utter motherhood bliss...don't misunderstand.
First, let me give you a few moments of complete fear:
1.) Actually having labor and delivering a baby.
2.) Having nurses come in to look at your tiny, beautiful infant daughter's foot and saying things like "Isn't she pretty?" as they stare at the little foot.
3.) Holding that tiny little infant to nurse and it.does.not.work. She doesn't latch properly, you don't make any milk, she screams, you give her formula.
4.) When your three week old baby has her first appt. with the pediatric orthopaedist who outlines a years' worth of treatment in about 10 minutes. Then hugs you when you obviously look completely confused and overwhelmed.
5.) Taking your baby every single Thursday for 10 weeks to get a new cast. Hearing the sound of that saw cut the cast off your baby. Holding your breath waiting to see if the foot is straightening correctly or not.
6.) Sending your ten week old tiny, tiny, tiny infant into surgery. Hearing your phone ring when it's time to race down to get her. Praying that she's screaming, which will mean she's getting the gas out.
7.) Getting corrective shoes.
8.) Hearing the news that the beloved orthopaedist is moving (and you feel as if he is personally abonding you and your child).
9.) Meeting the new orthopaedist and then getting a cool butterfly brace and ditching the shoes.
10.) Fever spikes, strep throat at 7 months and again at 9 months, teething, no pooping, waking up in the middle of the night after months of sleeping for atleast 10 straight hours, etc, etc, etc.
All those moments of heart-stopping, breath-holding fear make the moments of motherhood bliss all the more amazing. And they have made me SO much stronger. I will fight for M when I won't stand up for anything else. I will move mountains that seem insurmountable if I need to in order to get whatever I need for her. And I've also realized how truly human I am. Motherhood has humbled me in ways I never knew I needed to be humbled. I am a better person because I am a mother.
Moments of motherhood bliss:
1.) Holding that sweet infant for hours when she sleeps and the house is quiet.
2.) Rocking in the middle of the night to the lullaby CD.
3.) Folding those tiny little clothes.
4.) Chasing a crawling baby across the carpet.
5.) Watching your baby discover something new.
6.) Reading a favorite book.
7.) Hearing your baby utter Mama the first time and then squealing it when she realizes you are putty in her hands when she says your name.
8.) Watching your baby learn something new every single day. The world is a giant classroom.
9.) See that toddler walk with two healthy, straight feet.
10.) Knowing she is yours and you are hers....forever.
I hope as I become a better mother that I will let some of the fear go and concentrate more on the bliss...