Saturday, January 29, 2011

Don't Need a Map to Keep This Show on the Road

Mac is in kind of a stage where he whines and cries and throws fits. It's hard to take him seriously because he's so cute and so ridiculous.

This morning he got in trouble because he wanted to not throw a dirty paper towel away. He wanted to continue washing walls with it indefinitely. When I made it clear that the paper towel was trash, he stomped on my toes repeatedly while trying to pry the trashcan open.

"I'll call you back," I said to my sister who was on the phone. "Mac is stomping on my foot repeatedly, and it seems like discipline is required."

Later, Dan came into the kitchen while I was preparing lunch and Mac was sobbing in his chair.

"What's the problem?" Dan said.

"Oh," I explained. "He wanted to hold the frozen Indian food for a long time, but I had to put it in the microwave."

You know. He experiences lots of really tough blows like that pretty much all the time.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Supes Awes

Check out this photo by Dan:

I'll have you know that I yanked that tooth out myself with my bare hands! It was a thrilling moment for all four of us, who were crowded in the bathroom.

Another thrilling moment occurred this morning when I started over in my senior elective with a new group of students. I was so happy to NOT SEE the usual suspects arrive.

This semester is going to be better, I just know it. I don't even know who the suspects are. I'm imagining the POSSIBILITIES.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Saturday in July

Okay, it's not July. Actually, it's not even above zero degrees fahrenheit. However, I have finished administering final exams.

There's some grading to contend with, but I think I can handle it. And then, semester two starts on Tuesday.

The highlight of the week for me was lunch out on Wednesday with two teaching pals, Jackie and Kari. I had a hard time eating my sub because my thumb has split open due to the dry, dry air.

"I know what you need," Jackie said firmly. "You need crack care."

"What?" I said, thinking I hadn't heard correctly.

"Crack Care," she said. "I know it sounds bad, but you paint it on there..."

"And glue your crack together," Kari explained.

Things only got worse from there, to tell you the truth. English teachers love a good double entendre.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Take You to My Castle Far Away

A few days ago, my friend Jordan emailed me. She'd been cleaning out her computer files and found this photo:

That's her adorable daughter sitting next to me, and that's Shef sitting on Dan's lap. I think he is about two weeks old here, or maybe three. Is he the hugest, least baby-like baby you've ever seen, or what?!

I laughed pretty hard about how ridiculous this whole picture is when I opened the email. The funny things are:
  • I put real clothes on. You know that's a feat when you have a two or three week-old baby.
  • My smile is insane. It's like I'm pretending to be normal, when everyone pretty much knows you're not normal when you have a two or three week-old baby.
  • Dan also put real clothes on and also appears to be trying to look normal, except that his hair is kind of sticking out a bit on the left side.
  • Despite looking so silly, we also look REALLY YOUNG compared to how we look today.
  • I'm pretty large and lumpy, and I remember thinking that I felt thinner than I ever had in my entire life at this point in time, that's how over the moon I was to be not pregnant after 42 weeks of being pregnant.
Rachel says that I don't even look like myself in my Shef pregnancy photos, including this one. She says I look like an unlucky twin sister.

That's nice of her to say, but this is really me. I'm actually pretty happy to have this photo on file now. Spring of 2004 was a momentous time.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Desperate Times

One of my resolutions for 2011: Make 2011 a Happier Year is to make time for a regular date night. With Dan, obviously.

I know this is a totally cliched resolution; however, with two kids and two jobs and dishes and dinner and laundry and homework, it really does become relatively easy to not speak to one another for days on end. So.

We wanted to go out tonight. It's been a stressful week with all manner of negotiations to deal with. Our regular babysitter is MIA and my mother is spending a month in Arizona. The new neighborhood babysitter was unavailable for the next two Saturday nights.

Luckily, I'm skilled at problem-solving. So yesterday at the beginning of my prep hour, I walked down the hall to my friend Beth's classroom. I happened to know that many of the nicest students I had last year were in her fifth hour class. I stood by the door and awaited their arrival.

When I saw the first nice girl, Nora, approaching, I asked her three questions: Do you drive? Do you babysit? and, Do you want to babysit tomorrow night?

Yes! she said to all three. And, could she bring nice girl #2, Annie?

Absolutely, I said.

Done deal. We're going out to dinner.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Double Agent

I volunteered at an admissions event at Shef's school tonight. I didn't know this was the case beforehand, but it turned out to be that HIS school's boys' varsity basketball team was playing MY school's boys' varsity basketball team.

Apparently there was a big Facebook smack talk war prior to the game. Also, this was a David and Goliath-type match-up, as his school has 1400 total students in 14 grades, and my school has 1900 total students in 3 grades. I'm not sure who won! Who do you think won?!

The kids seemed pleased to see me, even though I was there in official capacity for the other team.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Treadmill

When my alarm went off at 5:30 and it was time to convince myself to get on the treadmill, I had to employ two powerful motivational techniques:

1. The usual promise that I only have to stay on there for twenty minutes.


2. A reminder that 16 and Pregnant: Where Are They Now? was waiting on the DVR.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I Honestly Love You

I took the day off today in order to get to accomplish a couple of routine doctors' appointments.

First, I saw my opthalmologist, who also happens to be my mother-in-law.

The mistake I made there was suggesting to Jane's tech that I didn't really need to get my pupils dilated. As soon as the tech agreed to "let me wait and see what the doctor said about that," I knew I'd probably made a mistake.

Sure enough, Jane said that if I didn't get my pupils dilated, she wouldn't be able to check for brain tumors or melanoma.

This obviously played to my natural tendency toward paranoia, and so my appointment was extended by an hour and I left the office wearing those temporary, square-shaped paper sunglasses with loaner glasses over top.


Later, I saw my family medicine doctor for a check-up and mentioned that the skin had been falling off my right ear for six months. Was it cancer?

Paranoia and anxiety? She asked.

Yes, I said. But also, Cancer?

She doesn't think so, but she prescribed a cream and suggested I stop using hair products.

I obviously can't stop using hair products. I have curly hair. We need hair PRODUCTS. Plus, I've switched products in between the time when this started and now. So, I'm pretty sure that's not it.

And don't even go there with the sarcastic, "Where did you go to medical school?" query. I've heard that all before. From Dan, obviously.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Back in the Saddle

By the end of the day today, it was very clear to everyone that the calendar was serious when it said we had to go back to school.

Luckily, one of my former students gave me a box of Godiva to thank me for writing her letter of recommendation, which was awesome.

Also, I got to discuss one of my most favorite books in the world, The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien. As I may have mentioned before, Mr. O'Brien went to Macalester and I also went to Macalester. We are connected on a collegiate level, which makes me a genius by... collegiate connection?

Anyway, one of the kids told me that M&Ms (carried by a character named Rat Kiley who is a medic) were actually made for use in war. Is this true? It's something I'll have to find out about soon. It's good to have attainable goals like visiting Wikipedia to read about M&Ms candy.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Well, this has pretty much been the best break ever. We all learned to sleep in, I spent a ton of time with the children, I was happy and relaxed for the holidays. Basically, it could not have been better, even considering the 24 stomach bug I endured yesterday.

Now, it's time to get back to reality.

I have a ton of work to do. It's really an astounding amount of work. I'll start it a bit today, and I'll finish it every second of every hour of every day for the next two-and-a-half weeks. Then finals come, and it's another re-set.

Truth be told, that's probably one of the best things about being a teacher: there are all of these stops and starts that provide natural opportunities to assess and make changes.

Let's keep learning, peeps! It's going to be a great year, I'm 95% sure.