Monday, February 25, 2013

The Good, The Bad, and The Stomach Flu

Friday, though I wasn't feeling a whole lot better, I got up and went to work. (Knowing that I was probably only the first in the house to be sick and those sick days would be needed for my little ones.) It was a long uneventful day. A good friend brought me a fancy coffee, of which I managed two sips before sadly putting it in the fridge for a day when my stomach felt better. (PS - I overflowed it in the microwave Saturday morning and never did get to drink it anyway). After picking the kiddos up from daycare, I managed an ice cream date that had been postponed from the previous day due to the stomach bug. The kids enjoyed the cookie toppings more than the ice cream. In a fit of spontaneity I also offered a visit to the movie store to which my three year old replied, "No thanks mom. We have movies at home." Indeed we did and we thoroughly enjoyed them even on the umpteenth viewing.

On Saturday, after a fun indoor play park date with good friends and their children, Saturday night was a little "shitty"...literally. As I wrote previously, I caught a little stomach bug. (and it has been making the rounds at daycare as well). Well Saturday afternoon it seemed the boys got a touch of it as well. I woke up from a much needed nap to poo everywhere thanks to the bug and a leaky diaper. This was shortly followed by an accident in the big boy underwear. It was at this point, I think, that my husband was rethinking taking his supper break at home. There was no "supper" per say. There was eggs and toast though, breakfast for supper is always a good lifesaver! The plus side to all of this was two fully bathed boys before 630. The rest of the night proved uneventful...thank goodness. We settled in to watch a few movies with cups of pedialite and powerade zero. Quite the trio we were! I went to bed with high hopes that this would be the extent of the stomach bug at our house.

And so it seemed. The boys and I spent the morning trying hard to be quiet so hubby could sleep in a little. It worked for a while. In the afternoon the kids took a short, but restful nap and after waking sat up to the table to have a snack and listen to some of my favorite tunes while I prepared supper. And then it began...the complaints of a tummy ache, followed by all the classic symptoms of the stomach flu. At one am, my hubby arrived home to chaos. We divided, baby and dad in one room, mom and flu kiddo to another. Needless to say it was a long night.

We are home today on a sick day. Aside from feeling awful for my little one and being thoroughly exhausted, it is a good day. I am thankful it was only the stomach flu. Ugly as it may be, I can deal with the stomach flu.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Worm Charming

A group of my students and I read this book in our small group today:


It was all about worm charming!  Who'd a thunk!?!  Visit the website for more info.


After a long weekend, I thought I would be rested.  I was rested.  Now I am not.  I love being a teacher, but my heart is longing for more time with my children.  The stress of educating our lowest learners with increasing demands from administration is taking its toll.  I know the plans God has for me are far greater than I could ever imagine, so I will keep on waiting.


The "bug" also got me this week.  I always despise being sick, but  I used to be able to find some joy in sick days because I got to take a bath, catch up on my TV/movie watching, and maybe read if I wasn't too busy sleeping.  Now being a mom comes first, and sick or not, my children still want and need me.  In fact they seem to need and want me even more when all I want to do is crawl back under the covers.

This week has been difficult.  I am in a funk.  I feel like I don't deserve to be in a funk.  I am so blessed, there are so many others who deserve the funk more than I do, but yet here I am, in a funk.  I need sunshine and healthy kids, less stress, and more time to "play."  That is on me though, happiness is not an emotion, it is something I must work at every day.  I have all the components for happiness, I just need to make the decision to feel it...everyday.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Teacher, Stay at Home Momma, or Zookeeper

Some days doesn't it feel like they are all one in the same? 
Teacher, stay at home momma, or zookeeper.  

Today my 5th grade students were talking about what they wanted to be when they grew up.  One of them said, "Well, you are so brilliant, but what would you be if you weren't a teacher?"  (Ha, brownie points!)  My reply was, "A stay at home momma."  To which another student said, "Yeah, me too!  A teacher, a stay at home momma, or...a zookeeper!"  Little does she know...funny stuff people, funny stuff.

A day in the life...

5:35 1st alarm goes off

5:50 2nd alarm goes off

6:10 get out of bed - ask hubby to listen for baby to wake (he is asleep in our bed)

6:25 hubby and baby bust in bathroom (baby is fully dressed for the day though...yay!)

6:30 baby pulling on leg and trying to dig through the garbage as I attempt to apply makeup or at least cover up the spots

6:35 3 year old busts in bathroom and hubby leaves for work

6:40 fight breaks out over 3 year old's blanket (he has it, baby wants it)

6:45 3 year old aims incorrectly at toilet while trying to escape baby (I clean it up)

6:50 Sit down to nurse baby, turn Dora on, fast forward to baby side, check work email, have conversation with 3 year about why Christmas is over

7:00 Switch sides nursing, check regular email, open fruit pouch and juice for 3 year old

7:05 fix hair (aka: a messy bun-the only thing my hair knows how to do these days), change 3 year olds clothes, refill milk, pack backpacks

7:10 brush teeth, start car, make protein shake

7:15 haul bags to car, toast waffles

7:20 coats on, boots on, hats on

7:25 kids to car, smash waffles together and stuff in paper towels, throw leftovers in lunch bag

7:30 return to locked house for lunch and blankie

7:35 Drive to daycare - notice and discuss all the vehicles we pass

7:45 Arrive at daycare, unload kids and backpacks, undress kids, stuff clothes in bag, hang backpacks up, deposit milk, settle dispute about blankie, buckle kids in highchairs,

7:50 Give one more hug, kiss, and I love you

7:52 drive to work

7:59 Arrive at work - 1 minute to spare

8:00 Join initial evaluation meeting

8:02 Explain learning disabilities, dyslexia, and achievement testing to team

8:20 fill out paperwork

8:25 Finish protein shake and cold waffles

8:30 receive text from hubby requesting phone call

8:35 teach 4th grade reading

9:15 respond to hubby's text

9:17 in laws are coming to visit tonight (but they are bringing supper)

9:20 dispute via text message over who gets to run tonight (with hubby)

9:23 I get to run

9:25 Pump, check email, call student loan center, read chapter from Dyslexia, schedule two meeting with parents

10:00 teach 2nd grade reading...and on it goes...

No wonder I am tired!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Fantastic Saturday

Two simple words, my facebook status, summed up my Saturday.  I woke up to two little snugly boys in between my husband and I, sleepily smiling and silently waving to one another.  We lazed around a bit and then decided to go downtown and enjoy the beautiful February weather.  We hit up one of our favorite shops to make Valentines and play, then got a quick bite to eat at a neat little organic restaurant with a cozy atmosphere.  The morning was rounded out by grocery shopping with the big car cart and naps for all.  We then had a spontaneous pizza party with good friends and ended the day with Dora and "Happy Birthday Hamster."  On Sunday morning, at the breakfast table, my husband looked at me and said, "I love our life."  Me too!  It is truly fantastic!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Being the Mom

***I roughly wrote this a few weeks ago and forgot to polish and publish.  I decided not to polish it.  I like the raw emotion and frustration portrayed by my draft. 

Being the Mom is hard. Harder than I ever imagined. Now don't get me wrong, I'm sure being the Dad is tough to, but I can only speak for being the Mom. Some of the things that define my role as mom:

*I am the one they run to when they are hurt
*I am the one who they cuddle with when they are sick
*I read the best stories
*I know the right toys to pack in the church bag
*I don't ever forget the blankies and loves when we go somewhere
*I get the brunt of their anger and crabbiness at the end of a long day

After a wonderful family weekend, it was tough for everyone to go back to the weekly routine. I didn't particularly want to go to work (so much so, that I shut off my alarm this morning - luckily my internal clock did the job instead), the 3 year old cried about going to daycare, and neither boy napped well today. Needless to say, today lived up to every stigma ever put on "Monday."

I worry about my children all day every day. No one told me (or maybe I didn't listen or understand) that once you are a mother, once those children are no longer in your body, under your heart, the worry is just beginning. It is like letting a piece of your heart walk around unattended 24/7...the true meaning of wearing your heart on your sleeve. As a mother, your child's cries make your own heart ache. The injustices of life become twice as painful for a mother because of the inability to protect children from every cruel lesson life has to offer. People I once thought I would give my own life for have now become the same ones I would push in front of a train if it meant I could save my own child. A mother's love knows no rational boundaries. Some days I wish I could be the dad. I don't really know how it feels, but it looks like fun. Shovel snow, wrestle, love mom. Seems much simpler than what I do every day. When I really think about it though, I would never want to give up that bound of mother to child. I carried these children for nine months. I knew them before anyone else but God. I had nine months with them that no other person got to experience. I nursed them every day for over a year and sustained their lives with mine. There are some things I would not give up, even for a day of shoveling and wrestling.

"For I Know the Plans I Have For You"

Jeremiah 29:11

New International Version (NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

I must remind myself of this verse on days like today.  Things have not been going well with daycare.  We have a wonderful daycare provider.  Over the past year, her life has been plagued with tragedy.  It is only natural for these events to have taken their toll on her.  However, in this situation, I am the mother and my number one priority is the care of my children regardless of what scars life has left on another.  I want so badly to be able to stay home with my children, at least part of the time, but this does not seem to be in the cards for me.  I don't want someone else raising my children while I work to pay them to do so.  But if this is where I need to be, if work is where I need to go, then my mother's heart needs to know that whomever is caring for my children, is doing so with every shred of love and kindness in their heart.  We are all human, we ere.  I make mistakes that affect my children.  I am no more perfect than the next parent of caregiver.  I get that.  All I can do is pray.
I pray for guidance. 
I pray for understanding. 
I pray for wisdom. 
I pray for an open heart.
I pray for my children.
I say a prayer of thanks for all I have already been given.

To Read or Not to Read...That is NEVER a Question

I love to read!  Those who know me know this well.  As a kid, I would take stacks of books everywhere, including bumping along in the tractor (I had the ability to sleep in the tractor as well if that tells you anything).

What I am reading now:

1. Overcoming Dyslexia for Dummies
2. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest
3. Wonderstruck

Top 20 Books I MUST read soon:

1. Anna Karenina (and THEN see the movie)

2. The Storyteller

3. The Devil in the White City

4.Small Damages by Beth Kephart

5. Gone Girl

6. A Walk Across the Sun by Corban Addison

7. Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

 9. Wicked Appetite - (an "easy" "fluffy" read)
 10. A Secret Kept
 11. Two Kisses for Maddy - (only when I have my anxiety under control)
 12. Unbroken

13. The Round House by Louise Erdich

14.  Floors #2: 3 Below (a children's novel - think Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)

15. The Casual Vacancy (author of the Harry Potter books)

16.The House I Loved by Tatiana de Rosnay

17. & 18 InkSpell and InkDeath (fascinating fantasy series for young adults)

19. Shadow of a Night (book 2 in a triology)

20. The Kitchen House


Thursday, February 7, 2013


I had a dream last night complete with a cast of characters from my past. It was not a nightmare, but it was not a happy, fluffy dream either. I woke up tangled in my blankets, sweating. As I lay awake listening to the breathing of my sons (one cuddled up right next to me and the other in the room next door), I thanked God for that dream. It may sound odd, to wake sweaty and be thankful. But, I was happy to have woken up and I was happy I could remember. My past isn't all unicorns and rainbows, a life well lived never is, in my opinion. I thanked God for my past, because the scars have made me who I am. The people I have loved and lost have shaped me into who I am today. All things, both the good and the bad, have helped me know what I want, to know that the fear of losing or being hurt, can only ruin the enjoyment of what is happening right now. As I lay there, I took slow deep breaths, I kicked my feet out of the blankets, and I thanked God that it was just a dream. I thanked God for those beautiful sleeping boys. I thanked God for waking up and I thanked God for the gift of remembering.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Playdates and Oreos

So on Wednesday of last week, my husband and I decided we would have a little Superbowl party. My husband sent a mass text and I prepared a menu. As things often go though, our plans went awry. Apparently you need to decide sooner than five days in advance to have a Superbowl party. Needless to say almost all of our friends already had plans. The exception was a close friend of ours (her husband made her a Superbowl widow to attend a "man" party, need I say more...really though, I do like him too :) and her 6 month old son. Our Superbowl party quickly turned into a play date and a weeks worth of eating spinach dip, monster cookie bars, and chili. To be honest, that is kind of more my speed anyway!


My oldest son is a mini me of my husband. In looks, he is my husband all over again. His spunk, well maybe he is what happens when two type A personalities have a baby! Mostly though, he is his own person. Spunky, quick on his feet, smart, articulate (for a three year old), imaginative, funny, outgoing, kind hearted, handsome, sweet, loving, loud, sensitive...I am his mother, the list could go on. The one thing I know for certain he got from me is his love of Oreo cookies. Peanut butter, mint, confetti cake, double stuff, black and white...he, WE, love them all. As a child, my paternal grandparents kept a Tupperware container (you know the one...cylindrical, opaque, with a cream colored lid, held about 2 quarts) full of Oreo cookies just for me. Hidden behind the bread box, fruit bowl, and dry goods containers on the counter, it was one of the first things I went for when I visited. I was not required to share my cookies with anyone else, but when someone did want one, I had a process. I am not ashamed to admit that I knew the Oreo cookie jingle by heart, still do, and I used this knowledge against anyone who wanted to share my cookies. It was simple, sing the song, get a cookie. Want another? Sing the song again. We do not have a cookie jar, but my three year old does know the old jingle. However, he is smarter than I am and works his cookie addiction into everyday bargaining. Some Oreo funny-isms from my three year old are as follows:

Several nights ago -

Husband: Do you want a snack?

Three year old: Yes.

Husband: (Using best love and logic) You can have a yogurt or a banana.

Three year old: (without missing a beat) or an Oreo cookie. Yeah how about that? That would be good.

This morning -

Background: We are all fighting colds, coughing, runny noses, etc...

Three year old: Coughing

Me: Oh man, that is a bad cough.

Three year old: Yeah, you know what would make my cough better mom? An Oreo cookie. Yeah that would be good, right mom?

Gotta love his persuasive efforts!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Pirates and Football

My husband and I have had the "who runs the ship" conversation at our house on multiple occasions. Of course, on multiple occasions we have also decided, hands down, I do. In the past I have likened our roles to pirates...get it, ships - pirates, myself being the captain and my husband the first mate. I have often said, "you are a great first mate, but the captain you are not." This is true, but everyone knows what happens to the captain without a good first mate, right!?! Well in case you didn't know, the captain ends up walking the plank. Not a happy ending and I for one am a fan of happy endings.

This conversation came up again this morning..."who runs the ship?" In honor of the Superbowl being tomorrow, my husband said, "Well you are the quarterback, but I'm a darn good receiver." He is in fact a darn good reciever and I am thankful we are on the same team.

Moral of the story: choose your first mate (or receiver) wisely.