Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Such a buncha junk!!!

I had one of those days today where nothing went right. I am so disappointed, and especially because I was SO looking forward to it.

So...Today was Parker's big Nickelodeon Choir trip to our state capital. I had asked two months ago to use my ONE personal day so I could see him sing. As a teacher's kid, I already feel guilty that he is slighted in some areas (like having Mom miss coming for lunch and class parties,) while getting an overload in others (such as having Mom in the building when he is acting up.) This day was gonna be great. We were gonna see him perform, have lunch, then spend a day together-a little mother/son date. By the end of today I would be relaxed and rested, have great video memories of my eldest's artistic debut, and have finished up all of my Christmas to-dos. We would practically float home humming the Smurf's tune. Visions of sugarplums and all that jazz.

As you know, last night the weather dumped some really fun stuff on us. We were lucky to escape our share of the ice, but Little Rock did not. I got up this morning and just knew that no way would Nickelodeon Choir be trekking in these conditions. My personal day being precious, I got myself and the kiddos ready to head out the door. On the way I called school to let the office know that I would not be taking my day today since there would be no trip.

The trip was still on. So, back in the house to change Parker into his official Nick clothes (which, of course, we could not find,) then off to school to drop him.

We pulled into the parking lot at school and discovered Maddie in the back seat-I had forgotten to drop her at daycare. No big deal. I can take her after I leave the boys, but those little legs and curious eyes sure do move at a snail's pace inside the magical world that is an elementary school.

So boys delivered, Maddie (finally) dropped off, and on my way. I wanted to give myself plenty of time so I could drive slow.

Got to Little Rock around 10:00 just in time to get a call from Brad that one of his co-workers got a call that there would be no trip. No trip!!! So here I am in Little Rock in twice the time that it would normally take, cars in ditches everywhere, wreck happening right behind me, and there will be no performance.

Gotta make the best out of my lost day, so I head to Target. Bout that time I get a call that Nickelodeon is performing right there in the cafeteria WHERE I SHOULD BE AT WORK!!!!

So....personal day down the tube, no chance to see them perform, battling ice. Did not do much for my dreams of finishing up my Christmas list.

Time for a hot bath and bed. And back to school tomorrow.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dear Santa...

So thanks to S for sending me this email. It was so great, but I had to add a few of my own thoughts.

Dear Santa,

I've been a good mom all year. I've fed, cleaned and cuddled my children on demand, visited the doctor's office more than my doctor and sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree onthe school playground. I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son's redCrayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I'll find any more free time in the next 18 years. Here are my Christmas wishes:
(Since I have 3 kids, I think I am living my life 3 years at a time. So in 10 years I will actually 30 years older. I already feel it.)
* I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache (in any color, except purple,which I already have) and arms that don't hurt or flap in the breeze,but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy aisle in the grocery store.
(Okay-so my little confession is that I feel I have been given a little gift when I see another mom in the candy aisle wrestling their kid. There is comfort in numbers. I also like to check the insides of other people's cars for french fries/stickers/broken toys/socks. Ours is gross, but I have found that most people with kids live out of theirs, too. We were actually loading up with a friend the other day, and she asked me-with terror in her voice, "You are going to let them eat ice cream in the car?" Where else would they eat? At a table? Weird.)
* I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy.
crickets. chirp, chirp.
*If you're hauling big ticket items this year I'd like fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music, a television that doesn't broadcast any programs containing talking animals, and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I canhide to talk on the phone.
(I have the sweetest story about fingerprint windows. When Parker was barely able to walk we took him to see his great-grandmother in Jonesboro. He did what every kid does-tried to eat the glass. When we went back to visit at Easter, granny told us that she had treasured those little marks, and had cried when his aunt cleaned them away. I haven't been able to look at those precious little smears the same since. I wish I had a good story for the reason there is dust under the beds.)
*On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, 'Yes,Mommy' to boost my parental confidence, along with two kids who don't fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without theuse of power tools.
(I am personally against a talking doll. I just want one that smiles and hugs. We got plenty of talking round here!)
*I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting 'Don't eat inthe Living room' and 'Take your hands off your brother,' because my voice seems to be just out of my children's hearing range and can onlybe heard by the dog. If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or theluxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container.
(Seriously-if I had a quarter for everytime I say, "Please find something to play where no one is hurt or sad." And then after I tell Brad that I have to turn right around and say it to the kids. Exhausting!)
*If you don't mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely. It would behelpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crimefamily.
(I subscribe to the out of sight theory. That's why I can sit here in peace while the boys are rope-swinging to get from their door to their beds. And, yes, it can be that bad. Sorry, Mom.)
Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is calling and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back. Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come in and dry off so you don't catch cold. Help yourself to cookies on the table but don't eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet.
(Well, ya got me here....no laundry has been touched today.)

Yours Always,


P.S. One more thing...you can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children young enough to believe in Santa.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The thrill of the hunt...

We are a hunting family. My boys can rarely be seen daylight hours from October thru December. Some of my favorite memories of growing up were made walking through the woods with my grandpa. And I even had my very own deer stand made this year (more in effort to wanting to stay warm and dry than a serious place to hang my glowing orange hat.)

Today was my day. I spent last night preparing for the trip. I woke up long before the crack of dawn this morning. I gathered my gear and slipped stealthly out the door, careful not to wake the sleeping baby and husband.

Did I mention I was BARGAIN hunting? I am a Black Friday FANATIC!!!

Pouring through sales ads is the highlight of my Thanksgiving after-meal afternoon. My cousins and I have a special notebook we have dubbed the "Clipboard of Deals." We carefully find the cheapest prices on what we are looking for and plan our attack according to location and store opening times, taking into consideration availability of items, of course.

I also need to confess that we wake up early and endure the madness mostly for pure entertainment purposes. There is nothing like the scream of the crowd in Walmart at 5 a.m. when the unwrap the guarded pallets of super cheap televisions. Watching a lady cry tears of joy when she finds the last abandoned baby doll laying on some random shelf after she had given up hope is better than seeing the first moon walk. Not to mention the fighting. Surely someone else gets a little amused seeing two grown people play tug-of-war over Tickle Me Elmo.

Mostly the bargains are in vain as we spent too much gas driving to stores we never go to or standing in lines that are hardly worth the saved cash. To those of you who were out there with me...I hope you had as much fun as I did (and I hope you got those $4 jogging suits and $10 nerf guns.) And if you were warm and dry in your bed this cold, rainy morning at 4 a.m., you really had the right idea-but I hope to see you next year!

P.S....Let me know your best bargain of the day...
Mine was the digital camcorder (finally we are moving out of the 1990's) from Walmart. Cute, tiny, and super cool!!! Brad really outdid himself this year on my Christmas gift-and never stepped foot into the store!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

For my (460+) Kids at Christmas

We are so blessed. I mean, really...WOW. I am sitting here tonight tired-maybe exhausted. But I am also excited and hopeful. And I have a stack of red and blue tags that need your prayers...

I am praying tonight for all 460+ kiddos in our county on Angel Tree. I am asking that they experience God as he intends us all to see him-simply and generously. No questions. Pure joy. My hope is that they will receive more than much needed clothing items or toys. They will know unconditional love from a total stranger during this most holy time of year. They will know that someone cares for them, that they want to give them a gift with expectations of nothing in return. That as theyy grow into adults, they will remember that someone loved them so much that they were given an extraordinary gift. Lessons learned will far excede socks and stocking stuffers.

I want to pray for the moms, dads, and grandparents of these precious children. Parenting is the hardest job we will ever take on, and many of them are taking on this roll as they fill many other shoes. I thank God for giving them the grace to reach out for help from others. It is not easy to humble ourselves, but doing so for the benefit of our children is an act of pure selflessness. I pray that they will find ease from their stresses, financially, emotionally, and otherwise, and that they will be afforded the experience of a Christmas miracle with their children. I ask God to protect them, keep them safe, warm, happy, well, and full. I pray that every one of these families is drawn through this experience closer together and to Him. If there is a family that doesn't know the love and mercy of this great Redeemer, then I pray that through the generosity and compassion of others they will seek the greater Source.

I am humbled by the generocity of our community. God has been so good to so many, and I am greatful for the close ties that can be found here in Clark County. People are so good to give, making sacrifices for themselves to heed the call of Christ in service. The joy that shines in their faces as they deliver those packages can only be matched by a child experiencing Christmas in the midst of terrible hardships. Families, churches, organizations, businesses....we are so blessed to be surrounded by people who love the Lord. I pray that God continues to bless those that give. That He protects them, their families, and their works. That the people who are taking care of our Angels continue to trust that thier needs are provided for as well.

As we place these tags on the trees tomorrow night, join me in prayer of thanksgiving for these children, parents, giving families, and volunteers. God is so good to provide. What a blessing to see how He works.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Confessions of a crazy morning.

Mornings with my kids are the hardest part of the day. They grumble when they have to get up (I do, too.) They can NEVER find their shoes (got me there.) They fight over EVERYTHING, even things that I am convinced noone really wants. They do not like what their breakfast choices are, but once they get started you would think that they are having something really fantastic by the way they savor each and every little bite. Someone forgets something every day-usually a backpack after I have just said, "Get your backpack and head to the car." They take an e-x-c-r-u-t-i-a-t-i-n-g-l-y long time to walk the fifty yard from the parking lot into the school building. Then they pretend to wonder why our farewells are tainted with grumbles.

This morning was especially frustrating. They were pushing the right buttons right from the start. Parker discovered that he could control the lighting in the house by flipping light switches with (I'm sorry...) his tongue. He wandered around looking at the ceiling calling, "Shoes, shoes, where are you?" Kaden wouldn't get up until it was time to go, then he whined about going hunting instead of pursuing his education. And both were begging for a cookie for breakfast.

I did what I am always threatening to do....I grabbed Maddie and left.

(Disclaimer-Brad was home this morning. He usually goes to work at 6, but because of some power thingy he didn't go in til 10. I know...too perfect!)

So we girls loaded up in the car and took off. All three guys were standing in the door with lost, desperate faces.

It took about 2.4 seconds for my phone to ring. "You can come back. They are ready now."

Nope. Didn't do it. They love that they get to school way early and get to walk in with Mom and all that jazz. This was my perfectly presented opportunity to prove my point..."GET READY WE GOTTA GO!" I just knew this would fix them. They would see the light, understand my frustration, and come to my terms.

I felt like a super parent all day long. I was confident that the next time I said it was time, they would grab their stuff and load up. My delusions lasted until 3:30 when I was ready to leave school and my little precious guys were too busy playing to hear my declaration.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


So I have an ever-expanding list of things that need to get done. It is one of those overwhelming, too many things, shut down entirely lists that won't go away.

I know that none of these tasks are too big that I can't accomplish each and every one of them. I know that they have to be done, and be done before this week is over. I know that I could have accomplished a number if not all of them if I hadn't done to the Wheel of Fortune casting yesterday. I know these things, but am doing little about them. Yikes.

So here is my list...one that can't be hidden in the bottom of my purse or used as a coloring page. And if admitting you have a problem is the first step, then...

"Hello. My name is Amy. I need to get these things done:"

*Write the conclusion to my research paper due LAST Monday.

*Enter the 165 applications I have so far for Angel Tree into the spreadsheet. There will be more tomorrow.

*Lesson plans....find teepee.....paper bag vests and pilgrim hats....corn art....

*Finalize reflections on lesson I presented 2 weeks ago. Wish I could remember what I had for breakfast!

*Call back the approximately 2 dozen messages on my voicemail about Angel Tree from last Thursday and Friday.

*Reading reflection ch. 7--should be first and fastest.

*Laundry. More accurately-put away 27 loads that are crowding my bedroom floor from washing here and there all last week between deer camp and school.

*Unpack camper. HMMM...wonder what marshmallows would look like if I put this one off until next October when we will use camper again.

*Walmart. Camping and living out of an ice chest for 10 days has somehow emptied our house of everything.

*T graph plot my research results. Wish I knew what that means.

*Gather items for JA meeting tomorrow night so we can write out tags for 400+ children. There will be more tomorrow.

*Family time? Homework? Koalaty reading slips? Bedtime stories?

*Start media contact to raise support and awareness for Angel Tree.

I didn't number any tasks because they are all equally daunting and important right now. If anyone has a magic wand to wave and get everything done, I will be forever greatful. If not, then I will be super enthused about prayer and support.

Now that I have aired my dirty laundry (literally) I can't hide from it any longer. Off I go!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Chain forwards on my day "off"

Parker is sick today with the yuckiest stomach bug. So after washing everything in my house AND shampooing all of my carpets, I finally got around to checking my email. Had this fun forward (thanks, Christy,) and decided to post for all to see...

Welcome to the 2008 edition of getting to know your friends. 'press FORWARD' then change all the answers so they apply to you, and then send this to your friends including the person who sent it to you.The theory is that you will learn a lot of little things about your friends that you might not have known!

1. What time did you get up this morning? 2 am. see note on puke
2. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? so embarrassing...Saw 5.
4. What is your favorite TV show? Gray's Anatomy, O'Reilly Factor
5. What do you usually have for breakfast? half of Maddie's Poptart
6. What is your middle name? Lynn
7. What food do you dislike? onions and cabbage
8. What is your favorite CD at moment? Rascal Flatts Greatest Hits
9. What kind of car do you drive? Chrysler Town and country-Shout out to all you Mini-Van Moms!
10. Favorite sandwich? grilled cheese
11.What characteristic do you despise? dishonesty
12. Favorite item of clothing? monkey pajamas
13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Rome
14. Favorite brand of clothing? So many choices....
15. Where would you retire? all over...I want to travel
16.What was your most recent memorable birthday ? 21...Parker was born, graduated college...big year
17. Favorite sport to watch? football
18. Furthest place you are sending this? cyberworld
19. Person you expect to send it back first?IDK
20. When is your birthday? April 17
21. Are you a morning person or a night person? Morning and night. It's the middle part that gets me.
22. What is your shoe size? 9
23. Pets? Cocoa and Reeces...two great cats.
24. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with us? Kaden got a deer! (with a little help from dad)
25. What did you want to be when you were little? lawyer
26. How are you today? tired.
27. What is your favorite candy? Hershey's Kisses and red blowpops
28. What is your favorite flower? yellow rose
29. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? Dec. 4th-will be done with research!
30. What is your favorite pastime? reading and traveling
31. What are you listening to right now? The View. Love that Elizabeth!
32. What was the last thing you ate? Honey Nut Cheerios
33. Do you wish on stars? Nope, but thank God for them.
34. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? grey
35. How is the weather right now? beautiful
36. The first person you spoke to on the phone today? Ms. O'Quinn
37. Favorite soft drink? Diet Coke with Cherry from Sonic
38. Favorite restaurant? Olive Garden
39. Real hair color? mousey brown and grey. hence, the highlights!
40. What was your favorite toy as a child? books
41. Summer or winter? winter
42. Hugs or kisses? yes, please
43. Chocolate or Vanilla? chocolate
44. Coffee or tea? water with lemon
45. Do you want your friends to email you back? exactalutely (kadenism)
46. When was the last time you cried? I don't know...probably due for a good one.
47. What is under your bed? winter sweaters
48. What did you do last night? online chat and test (research again. ugh)
49. What are you afraid of? wasting time, not getting all of the important things done
50. Salty or sweet? salty
51. How many keys on your key ring? 7
52. How many years at your current job? 2
53. Favorite day of the week? Saturday
54. How many towns have you lived in? 7
55. Do you make friends easily? yes
56. How many people will you send this to? bloggers everywhere
57. How many will respond? can't wait to see...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Poor Little Guy!

Our class pet, Chuck E., is sick. He is normally a very social, happy, active little fella. He runs and eats and talks to the kids all day long.

Today when I got to school, I noticed that he wasn't moving much, and was sitting outside his "cave." He was still there later on, so I decided he needed a little attention.

What he really needed, turns out, was medical attention. His eyes were matted almost completely shut, and he was very still.

We rushed him to the vet as soon as school was out. He looked him over, said he is too skinny and that we probably have worse problems than his eyes.

I am so sad. He really is a good pet, and I want him to get better. But everything I have read online says that guineas rarely get sick, but when they do it isn't usually something that can be treated. Unless you have a vet that specializes in guinea pigs-which Arkadelphia is short on.

So if any off you are guinea pig experts, then my little guys and little guinea would love to hear about how to get better. But chances are, I will be talking to my kiddos this week about poor little Chuck E.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Little House-Style

Last night our power went out. It was about midnight, and usually we sleep in the dark anyway, but having no lights made it very hard to go to sleep in the dark.

We survived the night, but this morning was crazy. My kids woke up at 6-pretty unusual for my guys who like to sleep til 8 on the weekends. It was as if someone said, "Wake up! There's nothing to do, and you need to get a jump-start on pestering mom!"

I told my mother-in-law that it was like "Lord of the Flies." My precious angels might as well have been beating their chests in loinclothes. They went crazy! Normally they do cereal for breakfast, but this morning just because a hot breakfast wasn't possible they were dying for waffles. And they wouldn't play-they wanted to sit right on top of me to whine.

We decided we could not spend a perfectly good weekend day at home with our kids going nuts. We were packing up to head to our river cabin when our air conditioner whirled to life. We wouldn't have been any happier if a rainbow came shinin' throught the window and a dancing little leprechaun personally handed us our pot-o-gold.

We love camping and roughing it, but only when we are properly physically and mentally prepared. And this weekend was not one of those times. Our big shouts-out to those electric company guys who saved our sanity and our Sunday.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What was that?

I just had the weirdest experience. One of my classes I am taking is research methods. I have been dreading this one...it is supposed to be one of the hardest in the program. But I know I have to do it, and planned to just get it done and be done with it.

Here is the weird part. It is a group project. I am reliant upon 5 other people to help me get the grade. And I live here in Arkadoo, and one of my group-mates lives in Mena, 2 live in Conway, and 2 others live in Nashville, TN.

So we are working together online (finally-after taking nearly 2 weeks to pin everyone down to one time and place.) And all of our work has to be submitted electronically, individually, but must also be IDENTICAL. That really confuses me, because how in this world are all six of our papers going to be exactly the same from six hours apart.

Now, I'm sure that other groups are flying through these proximity issues by discussion boards, chats, posting, whatever, but I am not tech saavy (see my back arrow post!). These things make me feel old. When I graduated from HSU, email was still pretty tricky, but now there are whole classes that meet entirely online! You can take a test while eating popcorn in your p.j.s. Wow.

So for the past two hours we have labored online talking about font size and indentation, and wording. And this is just for our practice sheets...we haven't even started the actual paper yet.

I am so going to have to give up control of this. But I don't like it.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Rain, Rain, Go Away (After 8 am!)

Rain Day! No School! Even though the kids think we hate weekends and holidays, and that we sleep at school, it's true. Teachers love the day off, too!

So here we are in our jammies. At 10 am. I woke up and turned on the weather this morning first thing to find out if it was worth the effort to straighten my hair this morning. I am so thankful that I found out before waking my kids-those extra 2 hours of silence were amazing.

I have a million things I need to be doing, such as laundry, cleaning bathrooms, making play dough for school, and getting ahead on my assignments for this sememster. I seriously need to go through the stacks of kid clothes and hang/price them for Duck Duck Goose. All of these "bonus" hours could really be productive. Could be....

But instead we ate banana pancakes. Don't get to make those on crazy school mornings. Now the boys are playing playstation, and I am watching "The View" and indulging in my facebook and blogging. I can't get over the new VP nominee, and the coverage is endless.

And nothing is getting done that needs to. But it will later. In just a few minutes I will get up and put on my superhero cape, and CLEANING MOM will step out of the closet (if you could walk in my closet.)

Right now, though, I am half browsing, half listening, and loving that Maddie is climbing all over me babbling in her new language. This found time will be precious if not productive.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hugs from a hostile four-year old.

Today I had an amazingly rewarding moment. I am taking it as a pep talk from God conveyed through the mouth of a pre-k girl.

Last week was so hard. First of all, 8 hours is a long time for a four year old. Much less 19 of them in one space. Compound that with first time away from home jitters, nervous parents, regulations of the 4 different umbrellas that are over a public school program, new year paperwork, etc. Not to mention my 2 Grad classes that I am taking (in Conway) in my "spare" time.

In particular, I had one little girl who was my screamer and sulker. She would cry endlessly, then find a corner to plant herself in with her arms crossed and a look that said she didn't like school, want to be there, and wasn't interested in my songs, stories, or overall silliness.

But as the week went on, we made progress. She began walking down the hall by herself. She would sit in circle time. She let go of my leg on the playground. Eventually she smiled. Then I caught her on in my lesson singing and moving ever so slightly. Woah. Major breakthrough.

Today I met her walking with mom down the hall, and we got caught up in general conversation about how she was doing. Then she hit me with it. Last night, my little girl who had been so slow to warm up had asked to call her teacher. Because she loved her.

I really do love teaching pre-k, and one of the reasons is because they are so honest. What the feel and think is what you get. The rewards (and sometimes criticism) comes openly on a daily basis. But I know that today I received a gift, because even this early in the year, I can feel that at least for that one girl (and the mom who was just as scared to leave her) something worked. And really that's the best you can ask for at this crazy time of year.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


We recovered from yesterday. I always forget how hard the first week is. I think it's God's way of retaining teachers. Or post traumatic stress.

So I did something today I've always wanted to do, but never had a lapse in reason long enough to really follow through.

We have worn sandals, crocs, flip-flops, etc. all summer, and haven't even opened the sock drawer. Yesterday morning the boys went to get socks to wear with their new school shoes, and couldn't find a single, acceptable pair.

We found lots of holey socks and plenty of lonely socks, but our struggle was in finding two sole-mates that were acceptable for public display.

I despise sorting and folding socks-it is worst part of laundry for me. I usually end up with a basket, and we pull a couple out in the morning until I find time to sort through and put away socks for all five of us. I have always thought it would be so much easier to do this task if everyone had only one kind of sock, and each person's socks were distinguishable.... It's the little things that excite me.

So disregarding all reason and practicality, I went through each room with a trash bag and threw away every sock. It was hard-in the process I found a few that probably would make the cut, but I was on a mission.

This afternoon I went to Walmart and bought new socks for all five of us. I feel so liberated! We escaped major school clothes shopping, so I am rationalizing this as our fall wardrobe purchase.

Is it weird that everyone can't wait to get ready for school so they can wear their new socks?

Monday, August 18, 2008

oh my

I am so exhausted.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Our little battles

We took the kids out today for one last hoorah before back to the grind. We had a great time at Chuck E. Cheese, then we were off to find Parker a lunch box.

The problem is, Parker is very much like me. He gets very set ideas in his head about what he is looking for, and that is what he wants. Whether it exists in actuality or not. In June, he decided his b2s theme this year was flames. I don't get it, but I am comfortable with it, and a little relieved to be moving away from superheroes and characters. Whatever.

So we bought a flame backpack and way-cool converse with rock-n-roll guitars. But we never could find a lunchbox to match. To a lot of people, that might not be a big deal. Kaden's school supplies were a mixture of Spiderman, camo, puppies, and Thomas. Parker wants to coordinate.

We are down to the wire, and at risk of eating (gasp) in the cafeteria, we are desperately seeking lunch containers. But all of the sudden he wants Transformer (yuck) shoes AND a lunchbox. Transformers happen to be big now, and even though I despise them, I just assume it is a guy thing that he will grow out of. Only there are no lunchboxes to be found, which seems like an end to my problem since we already have those ROCKIN' flames.

We go to K-Mart, and there is a lunchbox with a volcano on it shooting out flames and lava. Matches perfectly, and we are totally into lava. But his face has that pouty-disappointed expression, and I could tell we were settling. That frustrates me, because I know that as soon as we buy it we will find one with Optimus-whoever on it, and a real battle of wills will begin.

We leave without it, deciding to wait until we find the one that we really want. Until we pull out onto Rodney Parham into traffic, and then that lunchbox turned from kinda okay into the COOLEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN! IT WAS PERFECT! THAT LAVA WAS ?POWERFUL?! TURN AROUND I HAVE TO HAVE IT. And the fit ensues.

Now, I know that people in the central Arkansas area must not be watching their CSI or 48 Hours, because if they were, they would know to call 911 if they saw a car going down the interstate with a child desperately screaming and clawing at the back window. But noone pulled us over. At one point between there and Benton I almost wanted them to. almost.

We made it home, and shopping days are over, and I wonder how we will survive this week without the perfect new lunchbox. By next weekend, lunchbox issues will seem minimal compared to the stress of the first week.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Where has summer gone?

This week has been so busy. Apparently last week was, too-I am already slackin' at this bloggin thing. Anyway, so anyone who is getting ready for back to school knows how crazy this time of year is. Especially if you are a teacher. Double especially if you are a teacher AND you have kids of your own to get ready.

Maddie returned to daycare this week. We are so blessed to have a daycare owner who really loves our kids and understands this teacher summer-off thing. So we stayed home all summer, and now we are back. But without Kaden (who is going to Pre-k @ Perritt with me and Parker.) And now she is 18 months old-the very peak of seperation anxiety. Also she has been a permanent fixture of my hip for three months. Know where I'm going? This had been so hard! Monday when I dropped her off she cried and desperately clung to my arm. And when I picked her up she was still crying. By crying I mean the ugly gasping, puffy-red eyed, snotty nose, really guilt ridden cry. I almost decided to stay home right then.

I might have if I hadn't been working on my room day and night for two weeks. I just couldn't do all of that work then leave. So I sucked it up. I told myself the same speech I tell my pre-k parents. "She'll be fine. She only cries for the first few minutes, then finds toys and friends and has a great time." I firmly believe this-but this is MY BABY!

Here we are at Day 4. No bags under eyes, snotty tears, or wailing. A few protests, but no more trauma.

Maddie will be fine.

Kaden is thrilled to be going to school with us. He strutted through the mall with his backpack the other day. He instantly looked a year older when he put on his new school shoes tonight before open house. I am gonna have to face the fact that he is not a baby. But I don't wanna.

Parker is so ready to be back in school. He has missed his friends, along with his classes, and I can't do enough to keep him busy while we are home. Hooray to those homeschool moms who teach several different levels at the same time. You are my heroes! I have been so frustrated this summer trying to do Parker's projects while finding something for little brother to do (he won't be left out), at the same time keeping Maddie from destroying their hard work. Not to mention they wanted to do things like eat and wear clean clothes. Ugh. So tempting to just turn on Noggin and sing with the Wonderpets.

So we are going back to school! My classroom is ready. Supplies and shoes have been bought. We have survived open house (which is not easy when you teach in the same school where your kids are going), and are on our way. Only 36 weeks til next summer!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Where are my buttons?!?!

I am sitting here pouting at my computer like a child. As if it personally attacked me. I came home from working on my classroom all day, and all I wanted to do was check my email. Wasn't even gonna blog or facebook-really.

And they are gone! My back button and other nifty things that I am comfortable with getting me from one place to another are no where to be found. For most people I'm sure that there is a quick fix, one little right click to back-button normalcy.

But tonight I am tired. I am cranky. I probably need a time out. So I will struggle through manually using my browser tonight, and maybe tomorrow I will be better rested and more patient.

This must be how my kids feel when grocery shopping spills over into lunch and naptime.

P.S. Thanks for the tip, Amber. Gonna give it a try. Come find me if I can't find my way BACK.

Here we go!

My mom kept the kids tonight so I could work in my classroom. Well, mostly so I could recruit Brad to work in my classroom. I have collected things throughout the summer for school, and I needed Man-help to get them there. Did I mention that today is our anniversary? Happy Anniversary, honey! Grab another box!

So we worked, and hauled, and moved furniture. And we went to dinner at the Burger Barn. That's right-just us. Time alone is few and far between, but a dinner with no fighting or flying french fries is romance in itself.

After dinner we went to retrieve our children. Mom had fed them and given them BATHS-I was taking home ready-for-bed children! She walked us out to the car, and with an exhausted look on her face said, "You do this every day. I don't know how. I might need medication."

We DO do this everyday. Some days are busier than others, and at times I wonder if the day will ever end. Sometimes after long days of workshops, you only want to go home. Then you get a call that you need to take someone to the emergency room because their brother hit them on the head with a trophy (last Friday). But later you are reminded that they are so precious, especially when they are full, and smell like Johnson's, and they are laying in bed at night. "One more book, please." "I wonder what we'll do tomorrow." "God, thanks for my hermit crab."

So for all of the moms out there...we'll just keep doing what we do. However we can manage.