Friday, October 30, 2009

Tricks...or treats?

Today we had our Fall party. Students are allowed to dress up as their favorite book character....actually what always ends up happening is that the kids buy their Halloween costumes ...and we, in turn, help them find a book that matches their costume.

In the classroom next door, a little girl dressed as a witch. Eh. That's pretty normal, right? sure. Her book, however... not so much. Her book was Witchcraft Spells...an actual book of spells! Her grandfather (who had recently passed away) passed it down to her before he died.

This reminded me of a student that I had about four or five years ago. His grandmother (who was his guardian) was a wiccan. She was well know throughout the town for the ceremonies that she performed and for the late night show she had on the local cable channel.
The day after Halloween this student of mine was so tired he couldn't stay awake. When I questioned him on whether or not he was up too late from eating too much Halloween candy, he told me, "No, I was aiding my grandma in her ceremonies." Alrighty then! No more questions from me.

At the end of the year, his present to me was a dinosaur plant. The box read as follows:

"Watch me spring to life and grow right before your eyes! If you look closely, you may even be able to see me move! Listen, and you might hear my fibers expanding. I’ll be fully awake in just three hours. "

I don't know why, but it freaked me out! I'm sure it was just an innocent gift. But knowing that curses or spells could have been put on it...I wasn't taking my chance. Still haven't, in fact. I can't seem to bring myself to throw it out, however. Maybe one day I won't believe in all that mumbo-jumbo...but until then, I won't be causing any dinosaur plant to come alive so I can watch it move.

Man...Now I'm gonna have man-eating plant nightmares. I'll let you know how those go as well...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Teacher Top Secret

Here are some things that before you become a teacher, they don't tell you:

  1. You will live for jean day.

  2. If you leave it in the teacher's lounge, by accident, it is free game...and it won't be there 20 minutes later. (Vultures...I tell you...vultures!)

  3. You will learn to how to go 8 hours without having to pee.

  4. There is no end to your stack of papers.

  5. You will learn to inhale your food...because there is no time for chewing and enjoying in the 15 minutes that you actually sit down to eat.

  6. You will have to deal with pee and poop...peeing children that will sit and pee in their chair to "defy" you. Poop stashed throughout your room till you feel like a crazy person calling all other teachers in to help you sniff to locate the stash.

  7. You will (at some point and time) google "Life after teaching"

  8. You will joke with your teacher buddies about drinking in your closets...because even though it would never happen...some days you wish it could.

  9. You will participate in days like "Pajama Day"...and get complimented repeatedly for your crazy sock monkey pajamas. Who knew kids like to see their teachers in pajamas??

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Maybe next time...

It was supposed to be an enjoyable time....

We were going to go out and enjoy the fall colors and get a little exercise...
I thought you would like to guess what animals lived inside that big hole in the tree....
I thought maybe you would even like to look up inside it...

but....I guess, you should have had your nap first.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Stress Relief

Reading through my last few blog entries, I sound as if I am in a HUGE depression or something. I'm not. Really! It has been Parent/Teacher conference week. I have been stressed and haven't been sleeping. Emotions fall to the forefront for me when that happens. So, in turn, I blog.

I have also been doing things with my boys that help me to relieve stress. Sometimes I forget to slow down and enjoy those moments with them. Yesterday, we painted pumpkins. (I decided to do that this year instead of carving.) The other day we went for a walk to enjoy the changing colors.
Somehow, when my emotions are at their rawest, I enjoy the little things that much more.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Just like that

Yesterday at lunch we were talking about death and dieing. Not in a morbid way, but in a "Will you have everything ready?" sort of way.

I know I don't.
I know I should...but I don't.

If something happened to me, I know my ex would keep my boys, but financially things are not spelled out. I don't have anywhere about where I would want to be buried, or expectations of my things.

I know I should get a will drawn up... and soon!

My mom had everything exactly laid out. When she died, there were no questions by us kids. No decisions we had to make. No financial burdens.

Driving home last night, I hit a part in the road that for some reason is always overly slick when it rains. I knew it would be then, as well, so I slowed down as I came up on it.

I hit it just right though and I started to slide. I tried to correct as my car swerved sideways. Prayers repeatedly rolled out of my mouth for help and guidance. I finally came to a screeching halt facing the opposite way in the opposite lane.

Shaken, I was thankful that I hadn't lost control as there is quite a drop off on either side. That's when those *Onstar commercials don't seem so silly. My cell phone was nowhere to be found, as it had slid off my lap as I spun.

After I got off the road, I sat there trying to regain the confidence to drive back over that same spot again. I thought of how I don't have things ready. How I need to have things ready.

Because...just like that...those decisions might have to be made.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Forget being in two places at once

Sooo... I'm on FB tonight.

I am also on the phone with Spencer.

This is normal.


Many nights we sit in silence with one another on the phone. This may seem odd to some, but really it's not. If we lived together, if we were in the same place, people would not think it odd for us to sit in the same room and not converse, just be...and that is what we are doing. We are just being together... without being together.

Tonight, I was chatting on IM. (I am fully admitting that I use the same part of my brain to converse on IM as I do in holding a speaking conversation.) So, needless to say, I can't talk on the phone AND IM. Normally that wouldn't be that big of a deal... because sitting with a phone to my ear and IMing - I can do that.

But tonight I was chatting with a husband of one of Spencer's classmates(C.) - long story, short - At Spencer's reunion, all the significant others were occasionally ditched so old classmates could catch up. So, we, in turn, got to know each other. It was either that or sit around....and honestly I don't just sit well. We had lots of great laughs. Completely innocent, but a good time nevertheless.

So, I tell Spencer tonight who I am IMing and about what. Spencer is convinced that C. has the hots for me. (I guess, I should have taken that as my cue to stop IMing)

Me: "Whatever. We are just chatting. Like I used to do with all my guy friends in college."
Spencer: "Yeah, probably because they ALL had the hots for you."
Me: "Yeah...that's why NONE of them dated me....because they all had the hots for me. It's nothing."

Again...I now know I should have gotten off the IM because Spencer then tried to hold a conversation with me... and of course, I couldn't follow it completely...so he hung up mad.

I admit I can't be in two places at once - physically or mentally. The most I can say is I'm sorry.

Some things I would rather forget

I opened my Christmas present. It was a matching bra and panty set. It was green (my favorite color.) My mother smiled proudly thinking she has done well. I look up at my mom completely embarrassed. I shove it back in the gift bag.

Two days later, I am in my car pulling out of the driveway. My mom comes running out with the gift bag that I had "forgotten." "Don't you like them?" she asks. "They're fine." I say. I toss the bag into the backseat thinking to myself how I will never wear them.

That night I call to thank my mom for her gift. I knew I had acted ungrateful. I tried calling, but got no answer. It was December 27. I was back at college and I was packing to go spend the new year with my boyfriend (R. - my now ex-husband). I was lonely...no one was in the dorms during this time of year. So I kept trying to call.

Then I had a knock on my door. "Strange." I thought. "Didn't know anyone else knew I was here."

I walked to my door. My dorm supervisor stood in front of me. I'm sure I must have given her a strange look because she never came to your door unless you were being unruly and loud - I was being neither. She, without hesitation, said, "Dawn, there's been an accident and your mom was killed."

I fell back into my dorm room banging the door against the wall. Everything moved in slow motion. I could hear myself screaming, "NOOOOOOooooo!" The room was spinning. I now realize, I was probably very close to fainting, but it just felt as if this was not happening to me; like I was just an outsider watching it.

My dorm supervisor followed me into my room and tried to hug me. I wedged myself in between mine and my roommate's bed and in between sobs yelled,"Don't touch me! I mean it, don't touch me! It's not true. It's not true. I was just there. It's not true."

Shortly thereafter, my roommate called. They had called her first trying to see who they could find that could have been with me when I found out, but no one was there...everyone was home with their families for Christmas. She consoled me as much as she could over the phone and said she would be there in the morning since the roads were snow covered.

Then my aunt called. She said my youngest brother had also been in the car and that he was in critical condition and was currently in surgery. Then she told me that my other two brothers had not been called yet. I took that as my responsibility.

How do you tell the most important people in the world that their/your mother has died? Somehow, I managed to do it and then sat sobbing on the phone with them.

Every time I thought I couldn't cry another tear, a wave of overwhelming sadness would come over me. I called R. and he immediately got on the road coming back from Texas.

My dorm supervisor insisted on sleeping in my room, even though I told her that I would be fine...that I just needed some time alone. When I finally didn't cry for over an hour, she decided that I was "stable" enough.

As soon as I knew she was completely out of earshot, I fell over in convulsions. My whole body shook as I screamed "WHY?!! Why! Why!" repeatedly until my voice was hoarse and my body was worn. I received no answer to help with the realization that I would never talk to my mom again.

It's not a memory that I bring to the forefront of my mind very often.

Yes, her death was sudden and tragic.

But the reason I don't like to think about it is because the last time I was with my mother, the last memory she had of me, I was being an ungrateful B...and that's something I would rather forget.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My mom

Tomorrow would have been my mom's 68th birthday.

My mother was an amazing woman! I'm sure most people will say this about their mom, but when I say it, it's true.

My mother was in abusive marriage with 3 kids under the age of 3. When my mom decided to finally leave my dad, she found out she was pregnant with my youngest brother, Nick. She stuck it out until after Nicholas was born. Beaten and bruised, she would get up every morning to go to work to ensure there was money to put food on the table.

Being a single mother of four, my mom chose to swallow her pride and move back home to Missouri to live and take care of my grandmother (her mom). The six of us lived in a two bedroom house. The saving grace was that the house had a basement.

My mom bought old dolls from garage sales. Taking doll wigs and clothes she had sewn for them, she made it so I would have a "new" doll for my birthday.


Even when we had nothing, my mom would do something crazy just to make us laugh. She knew how to make the most mundane thing exciting. I laugh now when I catch myself doing some of her "tricks."

Oh, how I miss her...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sleep deprived

I have had some dark and twisted last couple of days. I have turned into an insomniac again and I seriously think it is affecting my sanity.

But in the same sense, I have said things that have bothered me for a long time to the people that they need to be said to.

I have to say, I am a planner and a worrier. If I am going to have a confrontation with someone, I plan it out in my head. I play through several scenarios to not be caught off guard and so that I can be prepared for the worst. I am much better at writing down my feelings so I can reread them before presenting them to someone....most of the time, they aren't presented. And then I worry. I worry about what will come about because of my words. Things I can't take back after I have said them. So, I don't say them.

But the last few days, in this fogged-out, sleep-deprived brain of mine, that filter (that makes me plan and keeps me from saying what I want to say) has been void from my life.

I told my ex-husband today how much he hurt me....and I didn't leave out the mean, hurtful feelings that I have never said to him. Feelings that filter of mine keeps me from saying because I might cause a ripple.

Somehow, I feel less weighted...now maybe I can sleep.

Random Thoughts for the Day

My friend, Laura, sent these to me today...thought I would share. Enjoy!

I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

There is great need for a sarcasm font. Yes, there is!!

How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet? I actually know the answer to this one...Martha Steward taught me how :)

Was learning cursive really necessary? I'm going to have to say, "Yes." since I teach it daily :)

Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired. This has become my mantra

Bad decisions make good stories. So has this :)

You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.

I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

"Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this -- ever.

I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Damn it!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?

I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call. SO true!

My 4-year old son asked me in the car the other day "What would happen if you ran over a ninja?" How the heck do I respond to that?

I think the freezer deserves a light as well..

I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lites than Kay.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Solid as a rock

I haven't wavered through this whole process.
I've waited.
I've watched.
I've wondered.
But I have never wavered.

At the beginning of January, you told me you would be here by summer.
By mid-January, you told me you couldn't discuss coming here.
By the end of January, you told me you weren't sure as to how long you could hold out in coming to me.

By the end of February, you told me that I didn't need to come there and you didn't need to come here.

In March, you told me that you missed me so much that you were sick to your stomach and that you loved everything about me.

In April, you asked me to come live with you and told me that we were "Common Law" married per your state's law. Yet, you went out on a "date" with your landlord's daughter.

From May through September, I traveled to you as much as possible. I felt like we needed to experience what it would be like if we were actually together, not just dating 7 hours from each other. I learned that you love and know me, you are very good with my boys and that you love them, and that we enjoy each other's interests (motorcycles, photography).

But what I also learned is that you aren't getting any closer, you don't want to get married, you don't want to be involved with church, you don't want any more kids, and you treat me like I am a Susie homemaker (which I am not, and actually hate).

So...this week, when you decided that you are back on board with moving up here...and I had some hesitation...I'm not wavering.

I'm waiting...to see what happens.

I'm watching...to see if you will change your mind again.

I'm wondering....if this will actually work out.

...But, I'm not wavering.

From the H-S Nazi

Dear Parents of my 3rd Grade students,

I know that you are fearful of the H1N1 flu virus.

I know that you think your child carrying around small bottles of hand sanitizer is the answer to all your fears.

I know you think I am a mean teacher when I tell them "Absolutely not!" and insist on them using the hand sanitizer on my counter.

I know...

...but what I also know is that:
  • one in five students by eighth grade has tried huffing (inhaling that lovely hand sanitizer to get high) and this normally starts in third or fourth grade.
  • I have already caught several of my own students doing it this year.
  • I can monitor the hand sanitizer and its use when it is on my counter.

So, please be assured that my intent is in the best interest of your child.

Sincerely,
The Hand Sanitizer Nazi

P.S. - No, I didn't really send this home to my parents....but I sure wanted to!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Star Qualities

To my oldest:
You have a kindness in your heart that is matched by no other...like when the sport's photographer scares Sam every time ~you calmly walk up, put your arm around him, and tell him "It's okay."


Your laughter is contagious. You find joy in things that, as I mom, I have forgotten to find joy in. You remind me. Thank you for that reminder.


I love that you are the leader... carefully taking your brother's hand to lead him over a bridge that his fear of heights denies him to cross on his own.
These qualities will serve you well...don't ever lose them.
Love, Mom

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The difference between school and life? In school, you're taught a lesson and then given a test.In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson

To my fellow teachers:

We may teach school...but we are not IN school, especially NOT middle school! However, some of you (I think) are not full aware of this... as you continue to act like it.

Berating your peers in the hallway causing them to be tearfully unsure of themselves and their place was not cool back when...and it is still NOT cool now!

And hearsay! Hell, are we not adults here? (Note to self: still up for discussion) If a student came to us and said, "He said, she said..." WE would send them off to talk to the person that said it...but somehow that advice is not taken amongst ourselves.

Please people...remember... what runs through the grapevine is not always verbatim...it gets tangled in the twists and turns of the branches.

Sincerely,
The one who is just trying to stay out of all of this drama.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Taken by storm

I welcomed the lightning as I inched along roads I know like the back of my hand, now seeming unusually unfamiliar. Blinding rain sheeted my car. Rivers of water rushed over the road. I prayed for safe arrival.

Normally, I like a good rain storm. I like to sit back and listen to the thunder bounce off the Ozark Mountains around me. The sound is soothing to my soul. I sometimes turn off all my lights just to see the light show going on outside.

Tonight was very different though. Tonight the storm was rough and mean like a bully pushing through a crowded room. You could feel the effects, but you couldn't see which way it was coming from.

I let out a deep sigh as I pulled into my garage. (I think I might have actually been holding my breath.) The comfort and safety of home. My sanctuary. What a relief.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Wandering in Strange lands

I realized today is that I not only lost a husband in my divorce...but I lost his my family. Not having parents of my own to be there for me, my ex's family really picked up that slack and made me always feel welcomed and loved.

Now don't get me wrong, they haven't disowned me. They haven't given me the cold shoulder or turned their backs on me.

The problem is... I don't know my place anymore.

They are still very much involved with my children (as grandparents should be). I still see them at all sporting events. I'm just not part of their family anymore...but they were my family for almost 15 years.

Today really hit home when I stopped by my ex-in-laws to drop my boys off. They were all talking about my ex's brother (who I was close to) and his son coming to visit this next weekend. It shouldn't have mattered... but I felt like I was being left out of a family reunion.

It shouldn't have mattered...but it did...because I don't know my place anymore.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Up for the Challenge

The last few years of teaching I have had a rough group of kids.


Somehow, once they learn that you know how to handle the head bangers and the tantrum throwers and turn them back into normal human beings before the next school year... they tend to put them in your room.


That has become my norm.


A norm that in the heat of it you think, "Am I ever going to come out the other side?"

This year, however, I have an easy class.

At the beginning of the school year, I sighed a sigh of relief that I might actually have a sane year.

And I do.

Too sane.

Sure... it's nice to have a group that doesn't get above a quiet roar, but it's not a challenge...and I'm always up for a good challenge.


I know, I know...I shouldn't complain. (Mainly because it will come back and bite me in my ass)


...but I need someone to keep me on my toes.

Am I coming across loud and clear??

I haven't figured it out yet... but lately when I call to talk to my boys (when they are with my ex), I get put on speaker phone.

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't say anything that shouldn't be heard over the speaker...I mean I am talking to my 4 and 6 year old after all, but why?

Why does he need to listen to me ask questions about their day?
Why does he need to hear me tell them that I love them and miss them?
Why?

I know that he has to do the dialing.
I know that he has to be putting it on speaker.
So....why?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Graciously accepting the torch of being Over the Top

I have recently started following Mox over at musing of a Moxie Mama and she has so graciously granted me this award. Which, in turn, has forced allowed me to share more about myself by answering these lovely questions.
Thanks Mox! (I think...)

Where is your cell phone? lap
Your hair? spiky
Your mother? heaven
Your father? crazy
Your favorite food? Japanese
Your dream last night? nope
Your favorite drink? Cape Cod (I realize this is 2 words...deal!)
Your dream/goal? together
What room are you in? basement
Your hobby? photography
Your fear? mice
Where do you want to be in 6 years? married
Where were you last night? home
Something you aren’t? sure
Muffins? depends...
Wish list item? car
Where did you grow up? rural
Last thing you did? this
What are you wearing? clothes
Your TV? recording
Your pets? gone
Your friends? hiiilllarious!
Your life? unbelievable
Your mood? fabulous
Missing someone? yep
Vehicle? old
Something you’re not wearing? polish
Your favorite store? all
Your favorite color? green
When was the last time you laughed? Today
Last time you cried? Saturday
Your best friend? Awesome!
One place that I go over and over? crazy
One person who emails me regularly? Laura
Favorite place to eat? couch

There you have it...more random facts about me. I know, I know...your day is now complete, right??
So.... now it's your turn. I know the following bloggers will accept this with a grimace smile on their face and like it!
The 3 simple rules are this:
-answer these questions with only 1 word
-kindly link back it back to me
-pick six blogs who you think are Over the Top!

I picked these blogs because I follow them regularly and I want to know more about them... not in a stalker sort of way...in a "that's mundane, tell me more" sort of way.
Hope you join in the fun!