Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I'm being fried up crisp from the inside.

Never have I been more happy to go to work than today. Because here, at work, the air conditioner is working and running. At home, I wouldn't know if it's working because *someone* (Ross) doesn't want it turned on because *someone* (still Ross) seems to think that he shows more moral worth by either freezing in the summer or cooking in the winter. I imagine that it's not good to scream out, "Oh sweet Lord!" everytime you walk upstairs. I'm convince that I am going to spontaneously combust at any moment I'm there. Meanwhile, the dogs are looking at me with pleading eyes, begging me to shave them. Or kill them, I'm not sure.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Shooter Bell

Shooter had two more seizures last night. One was five minutes long and the other was like five seconds long. The vet said he would probably still have them occassionally, but I still hate it. Especially how he sleeps for about 11 hours after he has one and I want to check him every 5 minutes to see if he's still alive. I check him by poking him. He then grumbles at me and goes back to sleep. He probably doesn't like it when I do that.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Wrapping things up

Today we made our annual trip to the middle school my kids will be attending next year. They get to walk around the building, try opening lockers, and watch lame-o skits that I love because my former students are in them. Seeing them walk into the building with bubbling excitement and wide-eyed fear really brings home the fact that school is almost over. This year has gone by so fast, and while, I'm ready to say goodbye, part of me is worried that I haven't prepared them enough for the demands of being a 6th grader. As we got back to school, one of the kids asked me if we were still having recess (typically their only concern if there is a change in our schedule). To him I replied, "Yes, and it's one of your last ones ever, so make sure you enjoy it."

Thursday, May 25, 2006


The hubs and I decided we needed to have some "quality" date time-you know, where you actually go somewhere and do something out of the ordinary. So, we packed ourselves some triple-decker peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, applesauce, Doritos, and Diet Pepsi, and biked our way here:

That's right, friends. The hubs and I had our picnic at the most Richmondy of Richmond places: The Robert E. Lee monument. After scarfing down our dinner, we snuggled:

We gazed:

We had a really big chin, but beautiful high/lowlights and freckles:

And, took pictures of the horse's naughty bits:

I mean, what more could a girl ask for?


I reached a breaking point yesterday morning. I completely wanted to pack up my things and go away for a couple days, just so I wouldn't have to be around anything that needed managing or for me to take care of it. This is by no means a reflection on my marriage or job or life, it's just how I feel sometimes. When I take the Meyers-Briggs test, I'm as far in the introvert column as you can be. Most people think that means your shy or hate talking in front of people. I'm neither of those things (I mean, I talk for a living). But rather, I need to have time alone or else I'll go insane. Like for real, wanna throw my cell phone in the river and change my name insane. When I get like this, I'm completely consumed with worldly, unimportant, and selfish things that, in the end, mean very little.

Last night I finally got that much needed privacy. My wonderful husband suggested that I go spend some time at his parent's decorate but vacant house for a few hours. So, I got myself some Chick-Fil-A and a People magazine, and headed over. It. was. amazing. I was only there for about 2 hours, but it was great to be able to just sit with myself, not having to talk to anybody or take care of anything. All I had to do was enjoy the time and refocus.

On my way home, I realized that what I really need to work on is being in the moment and be grateful for the blessings that I have and recognize at that time. So, when I got into bed that night, I didn't allow myself to think about everything I didn't do that day, or what was coming with the next. Instead I focused on the fact that I was a loved, healthy, clean, fed young lady lying in her comfortable bed with her loving dog, while the love of her life was in the next room working on a project for the business that he is determined will completely support us in the next few years, enabling me to stay home when we have kids.

Right now, all I'm thinking about is how hard my students are working as they take their science SOL. I see them reading things carefully, checking and double-checking, taking deep breaths, and doing their best. I don't care what their scores are. They're making me proud at this very moment.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Squid and the Whale and Me

Ross and I finally watched The Squid and the Whale last night. To give you a brief summary, it follows a family at the very beginning of the parents getting a divorce. Jeff Daniels stars as the pretentious and somewhat pathetic father who likes to tell people to stop being "difficult." Laura Linney plays his ex-wife who, I imagine after years of being put down and driven slowly mad, asks for a divorce. There was nothing similar in the specifics of this family's experience with divorce to that of my family's, but I thought the movie did a great job bringing out the overall feelings of awkwardness, loyalty, rebellion, and forced independence that comes along with the dissolution of a marriage that involves kids.

My parents divorced when I was 12. It's a strange epxerience, to put it mildly, but I understand my feeling about it much better now, taking a look from 12 years away. I just realized that my parents have been divorced for half of my life. Anyway, one of the reason's I think it was so hard for me was that I needed to mourn the loss of this family, or my parents' relationship, while they were still around. But it's kind of hard to say to my completely unglued mother that I wish she and my father would get back together-I knew it would just send her into another emotional spiral. Meanwhile, I found it hard to burst my dad's very dense bubble of excitement for his new life that rendered him deaf and blind to all things emotionally complicated and uncomfortable.

I kept being told that we were still a family. We weren't. I knew that it was ok that weren't still a family, I just wish someone would have been honest with me about it. I was also confused by the fact that we kept being told that it had nothing to do with us, while the arrangements following their separation had *everything* to do with us.

I found it difficult to be around both of my parents for many years following their split. I would rather die than be told that I was anything like one of them, but would react with fierce loyalty and defensiveness if one of them ever said anything bad about the other. While I was still connected to them in superficial ways (they knew what was going on at school, heard about boyfriends, etc.), I knew that things would never be the same and I was pretty much on my own. My parents both remarried around 3 years after they split. I don't know why, but that kind of sealed the deal for me-they were starting their new lives and it was time for me to start mine. I would always love them, but I was done looking to them for advice or guidance. I was 15.

I've never asked my parents what I was like throughout the divorce. It's funny that that last sentence implies that the process is over. I don't think you ever stop going through a divorce when you have children-in our case it seems like things are just as uncomfortable as ever, despite the fact that over a decade has gone by. I feel like my siblings and I are faced with more responsiblity than most when it comes to our parents. We have to "handle" them a lot more, I guess, making sure that everyone gets equal time with us, particularly at holidays. Luckily, we've all acquired amazing significant others who have either been through the experience, or are just wonderfully understanding and supportive (See Hubs, Bonus Sister, and Bonus Brother). Anyway, I hope I wasn't a total sh*t to them while working through this, even though sometimes they were sh*ts to me.

I don't really know the point of this entry, other than I finally found an inspiration for articulating how I felt about everything. Thanks, Jeff Daniels.


I relieved the stress by vaccuuming underneath my couches. And then got sad that it was so dirty under there.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I've gone insane.

Last night I had to stop reading the book "Fallen Leaves" that Maura loaned to me a gazillion years ago. I had made it about 50 pages in, but slammed it shut in an almost tearful fit last night because I couldn't handle it anymore. It's a memoir about a young Chinese girl who stepmother treats her like crap. She was so mean. I couldn't take it. Meanwhile, I am perfectly capable of reading a story in which people *own* one another. Go figure.

The children that I was just gushing over last night while checking their quizzes, are at the moment the object of the most white-hot hatred I have ever experienced. I'm trying to think of what I can do when I get home to burn off these feelings. I definitely don't want to be Ms. Crabby-Britches tomorrow.

I removed all of a child's items from his desk today and told him that they would be rationed to him throughout the day. I also confiscated a dictionary that he would not stop reading. I took it because I was mad that he wasn't listening to me. I told him he could see it in June.

*I* was the one who burped loudly and couldn't stop laughing while we were taking a test.

Summer needs to get here. Now.


It's amazing how in times of sadness, God directs us to words that give us comfort. Little Louie, who passed away last Thursday, was remembered at a memorial service last night. Those in attendance were given a card with this verse on it:

I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.
(1 Samuel 1:27, 28)


Monday, May 22, 2006

Various joys

Ross and I got our refund from the good ol' national government, and it looks like we'll be able to use it to fund our anniversary trip at the beginning of June. We are going here in Asheville and I'm super excited. I was a little nervous, what with the cost of the room, food, and gas, but it looks like things won't be too tight. I'm really looking forward to having my hubs all to myself, too.

We have our first SOL test on Thursday. We are taking Science first, which is good, because it's usually saved for last when the kids' brains are sufficiently fried. Then they have the long weekend, and finish up on Thursday and Friday of next week. My kids asked me if they could just take it today because they feel ready. I guess that's a good sign. I'm feeling ok about the Science test right now because I have basically taught all of the material twice this year. The rest is up to them. They are lazy most of the time but seem to know when it's time to step up.

Ross is making delicious hamburgers tonight and I'm very excited. And we get to watch The Squid and the Whale which I've been wanting to see.

Science test - 2 days
Reading test - 9 days
Anniversary trip - 18 days
School's out - 25 days
Dominican Republic - 26 days

Sunday, May 21, 2006

This weekend

Friday: Ross and I got Wendy's for dinner. We both sooned realized that our recent separation from fast food due to our teensy budget has rendered our systems intolerant of it. I guess that's a good thing. We then went to Barnes and Noble where Ross used part of a gift card to buy me a book. What a guy =)

Saturday: I met up with Ross at Gallery 5 to take part in his RVA Bloggers meet up. It was pretty cool, but he seemed disappointed because he didn't think enough people showed up. I also got bitten buy the owner's pet squirrel, peanut, while I was there. I then met up with Stephanie and Kate to have a 3:30 lunch at 3 Monkeys. The waitress hated me because I ordered a roast beef and turkey sandwich without the roast beef. The three of us then went out to Short Pump where I succeeded in buing nothing. We then returned to the city to get ready to go out for Steph's birthday. I started getting ready at 8:30, a time when I'm normally getting ready for bed. We finally made out to bar by 11:00, where we proceeded to dance in an exceptionally crowded (I'm sure to the point where it was illegal) room where I got burned by the cigarette being held by the young gentleman who attempted to dry hump Kate, whose face he hadn't even seen yet, mind you. Oh, the single scene. Let's just say, I'm glad I was only visiting it.

Sunday: I got home from Steph's bday festivities at 1:30 and waited up for Ross to get back from having his love affair with Matt White. Since I hadn't been up that late since about sophmore year of college, my system was shocked and needed me to sleep until 12:30. Which I did. I dragged my unshowered self to the store. Once home, I was carrying bags to the porch as a wasp flew up my right pant leg and proceeded to sting me. I dropped my bags on the sidewalk, and starting banging on the door for Ross to let me in. If he had taken three seconds longer, I would have stripped off my pants right there on the porch. But, hey, I found out that I am not allergic to wasp stings, something my mother was always afraid that I was for some reason. So I need to call her and tell her that. The lesson I learned is that getting stung sucks, especially when it's happening inside of your pants.

Almost Monday morning: I am now typing this because my excessive sleeping has left me unable to drift off. The Science SOL test is Thursday, so of course all I'm thinking about is that. And thinking about how I'm not asleep and I should be. I'm sure articulating my fears and reading about them over and over will help, too. Crap. Good night.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I don't understand.

Today a co-worker of mine lost his 16 month old baby boy to brain cancer. I had only met this little boy a couple of times, but I am more shaken up than I ever thought I would be. He was only diagnosed 4 weeks ago, and today he is gone. In 4 weeks he went from running around and laughing, to lying in a hospital bed, taking his last breaths in his parents' arms.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I'm proud of myself. This week...

I haven't taken a single nap.
I have read myself to sleep every night, rather than passing out in front of the T.V.
I have only had one soda (diet) a day.
I shared how a book can make you feel emotions. (We finished Where the Red Fern Grows today. There were tears and sniffles abound.)
I have left work on time each day.
I have gotten to work on time each day.
I have finally connected with my male co-worker (over our mutual love for fish sticks, and our respective spouses' disdain for said delicacy).

Two days to go still. However, all I have awaiting me are practice tests, review games, a movie, and dancing with Stephanie. I think I'll be ok.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Feeling what the other half feels.

As the year comes to a close, my job starts to become a lot like everyone else's. I sit behind a desk, checking my email more times than necessary, waiting for other people to finish what they're doing so I can move on the the next thing. We are in supreme-o review mode right now and in fifth grade, that means a lot of simulation tests, a lot of review quizzes, etc. I would love to do games but, unfortunately, games don't exactly hold the kids accountable for anything. So written work it is. So sad really. Anyway, I've been watching the clock for it to be resource time so I can atleast get up and go talk to my co-workers. I'm ready for summer. Like for real.

P.S. I found a tick on my bottom last night. ON MY BOTTOM!

Friday, May 12, 2006

If my kids knew what "Schizophrenic" was, they would think that I'm that.

Seriously. I can go from Glenda the Good Witch, to the Wicked Witch of the West, and back again in about 2 seconds flat. I had some cheater cheater pumpkin eaters today and after I ripped them each a new one, I was back to my typical, smiling, silly self with the other good children immediately. I find it to be quite an amazing quality, as long as I'm not frightening the children.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Tearful reunion...well on my part. He just laughed at me.

Today the School Resource Officer from our feeder middle school came by to talk to the kids. He basically comes to talk about school rules and policies, and to show him that he does, in fact, have a gun, stick, pepper spray, and handcuffs that he is allowed to use if provoked. He shhhpeeel is pretty standard, but he brought along a surprise with him. The middle school decided it would be good if they sent a 6th grader with him to give the kids an insider's view of the transition from elementary to middle school. And who did he bring with him? None other than my most favorite child yet: J.R. I had the privilege of teaching J.R. last year. He's one of those kids who is a perfect mix: very responsible, smart, and kind, but just enough twinkle in his eye to remind you that he is a boy. J.R. was a a major bright spot in my life last year (and for all of his teachers), but I hadn't seen him since his last day of 5th grade.

When I walked my kids into the auditorium to hear the officer speak, I saw J.R. standing up in the front, and I just started crying. It was the perfect combination of surprise, happiness, and most of all, pride. He looked like such a little man standing up there, and he did a perfect job talking to the kids. It totally made my day and reminded me of why I do what I do in the first place.

Monday, May 08, 2006


I have to give a presentation at the staff meeting tomorrow and I'm nervous.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

What an awesome day.

I woke up at 10:30 this morning to be greeted by my mother-in-law plugging away in our little front yard. Ever since the hole fiasco, she has been adamant that we get that little patch of land cleaned up. Well, thanks to Nic, the whole got filled in a few weeks ago and a few plants were added. However, my MIL decided to take things further and create a bonafide flower bed out there. She dug, she pulled, she tilled, she trimmed, she planted, and she got more work done in 3 hours than I would have in 3 months.

After the majority of the sweat-labor was done, we all went to lunch at Ginger, which is insanely awesome. The whole time at lunch, the MIL kept saying, "We're going to finish this today. We're not going to let it sit." She knows us too well. See, Ross and I aren't bothered by much, so the crappy front yard really didn't get to us. However, we were not going to fight her-she was adamant that we finish the job today. And Ross and I will do what you tell us to, we're just not ones to take initiative unless absolutely necessary. So anyway, after treating us to some mulch and another hose, the in-laws went back with us to the house and got down to business. In no time we had a beautiful (and mulched) flower bed, mowed grass, and a clean porch. I can't even believe it and neither will you if you come by to see it.

To reward ourselves for Ross's parents' hard work, the hubs and I then sat down to watch Deliverance and Narnia. Quite a mix, but both really good. Now I'm upstairs cuddling with pup #1, while Ross is watching TNG downstairs. All in all, we're quite content at the moment and grateful for such a good day.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Little kids are awesome.

My mentor teacher, Janie, takes care of this little girl a couple times a week. Her name is Abby and she's three. Abby's mom has been dropping her off at my school every Tuesday and Thursday for the past 2 1/2 years. I watched her change from a little baby to a walking, talking person. Abby loves to say hello to Gary the Gerbil, make fingerprints, eat Laffy Taffy, and figure out which chairs are just the right size for her. I always stay a little late on these days just to chat with Janie and be a witness to Abby's cuteness. Even though I've been around Abby for a while, she's not one of these children who just run up and hug anyone-she's selective. Well, today, Abby and I had a breakthrough. Not only did she ask me to pick her up, she gave me a hug when we said goodbye. I felt like I had won a gold medal or something. It was a great ending to what had been a much better day than yesterday and the day before. Thank God for the little ones.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Brownies and peas go flying.

I spent 40 minutes of instructional time today trying to sort out the mystery of the food fight from Hades today. The results of my inquiries further supported the undeniable fact that all children lie.

Monday, May 01, 2006