Sunday, August 2, 2009

Writing a Book

So....I've been thinking about it for a while now, and I think this year I am going to start my book. I have had some of the most unique, memorable, wonderful, terrible experiences as a teacher the last 7 years and I have to chronicle them in some way. What better way but with a book!? I love to write, and I did manage to complete a thesis of 142 pages (which was actually kind of good if I say so myself), so I think I can do it. There's a lot to remember and some of it isn't important to anyone but me, but I feel like my students (as I estimate, I've taught almost 1500 kids in seven years) and their impact on my life should be written down, explained, expressed, their stories told.

There is no greater enigma in the education world than a teenager--I don't understand them, but I try, and that's more than some teachers do. There are so many who have left indelible marks on my heart and I want the world to know that beneath all their stupidity, immaturiry, recklessness, irresponsibility, rudeness, laziness, anger, depression, sloth, hormones, and disregard for sophistication, there lies a beautiful person who is worth hearing.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

I'm in an icky mood...


So since we last had the time and energy to blog, we are now moving to New York. We bought a house. I'm job hunting. Evan is growing and learning at what seems like lightning speed. Adam is in New York and we are here keeping house until it sells. My grandmother died two days ago after a lengthy battle with cancer. I feel even MORE displaced, uncertain, sad, lost, overwhelmed, crazed, lonely, irritable, etc. than normal...

Which brings me to some things that irk me...

--home inspectors who tell you that your roof has hail damage but can't elaborate because he's "not a roofer"--well what the hell did you tell me for?

--people who look at your house twice, spend over an hour in it each time, and then make you wait a week (or longer) while they "decide" cannot take that long to decide. If the house is right, the price is right (we are super negotiable), and you have financing, it's sort of an easy deal.

--I am tiring of facebook and myspace. I don't mind being friends in cyberspace with people I actually consider to be friends/former students/coworkers/family members. I don't think I've denied a friend request (from a legitimate person) in a very long time but if I deny it once, there's a reason. Not only that, but I hate how some people feel the need to delete innocuous comments or comment on my wall that they don't want comments on a photo. What? I made a comment on a friend's pic the other day telling her she looked really pretty in an outfit that she had bought for a special occasion and then posted...she sent me a message and said that she didn't want comments on the album because it made her seem like she was fishing for compliments?? Huh? If her caption had said "Oh I'm so ugly!" that would've been fishing....but whatever.

--in general, I'm a pretty brutally honest person. Some people cannot handle it. But I am always going to call a spade a spade. If you have issues, problems, insecurities, or whatever, even if you are my friend, I'm not one to hide my thoughts on them. I hate feeling like I have to walk on eggshells around people. If they don't want my opinion, they shouldn't ask. I can be sensitive, caring, comforting, etc. but when you come to me and ask me to keep a secret for you that could detrimental to you marriage I just have to call it like I see it.

--people who constantly tell me that it's going to be different living in New, DUH. It's a different region of the country, with different weather, school systems, accents, foods, cultural beliefs, and people. It's not like I don't know this. I have seen a map that clearly delineates the difference between Oklahoma and New York.

--people who tell me in their unsolicited opinion that I "have to" have another child. That I "can't have an only child." That Evan "needs a sister." All I have to do is pay taxes and die. And I don't have to have another baby. I don't want to. And it isn't going to matter if two more years or five more years passes, it isn't going to change. I love my son. I feel completely fulfilled as a mother with this one smart, beautiful, charming, sweetheart of a son of mine.

--the certification process in NY is brutal. Tests, paperwork, fingerprints, waiting. It will get better though.

Okay, that's enough for now.
Other things today have ticked me off but I don't have the energy to expend on them.

Maybe tomorrow I'll feel better. I certainly hope so.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Back from Florida

We are finally home after 8 days and nights in Orlando. We went to every Disney park, Sea World, and Daytona Beach. It was a blast! I don't want to go through all the details of every day, so I'll put some pictures on here to give a general idea of the fun times we had. Evan did so well on his first airplane ride, and we truly had fun spending so much time together as a family. :)

Now, we are home. We are spending today doing yard work and I finally got all my deck staining materials so we are going to do that later this afternoon. The house was "clean" when we left, but I need to vacuum and dust and unpack and do laundry, so I have plenty of work to do. Adam is out there mowing right now. :)

We are planning a little trip down to Beaumont to see my brother and his new baby boy, Peyton Matthew. He is almost 2 weeks old. I am tired of traveling, but it is much easier in the car on our own time schedule!

And since we are home, we are going full steam ahead on changing our diets and lifestyles. There's nothing more humiliating that a bathing suit in a harshly lit dressing room, or realizing that even when you suck in, you still have rolls and pooches in places you never thought of (my back!), and so we went healthy shopping yesterday and have deleted sugars, sodas, snacks, and fried foods from our diets. Lots more water, fruits and veggies, less potatoes and pasta, and way more exercise. As soon as Evan takes a nap, I'm hitting the gym. And walking EVERY evening.

My goal: 15 pounds off my body by August 10 (first day of school).

Adam's goal: slimming down (he doesn't really do the numbers game)

Here's to a healthy and fun-filled summer!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Simple Man

Sometimes, I get slightly obsessed with a song. I download it, play it over and over again, watch random Youtube videos of the song, copy and paste the lyrics in my know, get obsessed. And then the song gets old and I don't listen to it so much anymore. Usually this happens with songs that are on the radio a lot..."Blame It On the Alcohol," "Low," "Turn My Swag On"...usually it's nonsense or just feel good music.

Lately though, it's been a song from WAY back when that has me weepy, emotional, and rocking out at least 5 times a day. It's "Simple Man" by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Now, being a Southern girl, I've listened to my fair share of Skynyrd, but almost always the standards of "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Freebird" with the occasional "Tuesday's Gone" and "That Smell." That's about it for me. Last Friday at graduation, they played this song during the senior slide show. You'd have to know my seniors to understand why, but many of the boys in that class are only children, momma's boys, and good ole country boys. I had seen the slide show 5 or 6 times before that night, but I didn't really listen to the music until that night. Then I went home and googled the song on the song list that was next to the CD. And I love it. LOVE.

It is the perfect advice for my own son, my only son, my momma's boy (who awakens at 4:30 a.m. and ONLY wants his Momma). When I was pregnant, I said I wanted a Momma's Boy. And that is precisely what I got. And I love it. I saw all those big 18 year old young men at graduation crying while they gave their mommas flowers, saw their mommas beaming with pride (and relief!) as their baby boys walked across that stage. I hadn't realized it until I sat there listening to the song and watching this unfold that I am part of that club--I'm a Momma and my baby boy is going to be a grown man one day. But for now, I'm #1 and I'm loving it. He has his Daddy to throw football with him, show him how to shoot a basketball, throw him in the air, run around with him, push him REALLY fast in the shopping cart, and hold him upside down like a rag doll until he squeals....He has his Paw to give him anything he wants, to show him how to use a knife to cut food, to give him ice cream and Pop Tarts for breakfast. But he has his Momma for everything else--to cuddle, snuggle, kiss boo boos, teach him to spell his name, count to 30, say please and thank you, give high fives, hold books and crayons properly, use the potty, wash his hands and face, to always be the one who knows when he needs a blanket or a special toy, to be the one to decode what he's saying in the midst of a tantrum and be there to kiss his hot cheeks when it is over.

And all I want, son, is for you to be satisfied.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Oh yeah, I forgot...A Grocery Store Story

I made banana pudding for the faculty pot luck the other day. I didn't have any of the stuff and I didn't want to get Evan ready to go and wrangle him through the store, so I texted Adam and asked him to get the ingredients--4 large bananas, 2 boxes of banana creme pudding, milk, Nilla wafers, and a tub of Cool Whip.

He ALWAYS texts or calls me when he goes shopping (unless it is for very basic items) so I didn't think anything of his call when he got there.

Until he said this: "Honey, what is Cool Whip?"

I almost spewed tea out of my mouth. "Um, it's in the ice cream aisle, near the end. It's in a plastic tub and it says Cool Whip on the lid."

"Oh you mean this stuff in a can? Reddi Whip?"

"NO. I mean Cool Whip. We've eaten it a million times."

"Oh. Well I don't see it."

"Go over by the ice cream."

"Okay I'll just walk around until I find it."

I didn't finish making my pudding until 10 p.m.

He bought the wrong pudding. But at least he got the damn Cool Whip.

**For you Dawg**

Welcome to My Life

Wow, so I guess it is time I stopped just reading these and actually wrote one of my own. I even teach blogs as a type of nonfiction in my 9th and 10th grade English classes, so why not try it out? I'm already addicted to facebook, myspace, and several blogs so I guess this can be my catharsis. And boy, do I need one sometimes!

It's summertime and I am so excited about it! I get to spend every day with my son and I miss him SO much during the school year. He gets up around 7 a.m., eats breakfast with Daddy, and wakes me up by saying, "Hi Momma, what doin?" We watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, share some toast with butter, and play cars and blocks and whatever else he wants. Around lunchtime, we either meet Daddy for lunch or Daddy comes home. Then we run errands all over this tiny town--usually Wal-Mart and then the park. Evan LOVES the geese and ducks there. We feed them bread, so every time we buy bread, he thinks it is for the geese. Then he crashes for a nap and I do Mommy chores--laundry, dishes, vacuuming, cleaning toilets (glamorous I know), and gardening. I have worked EXTREMELY hard since we moved here to make our yard and garden areas look nice. It was a complete wreck when we got here last summer. I should have taken pictures. But now it looks so good, I need to take some pictures. Anyway, I digress...we wait for Daddy to come home, we play outside, and then we do whatever when Daddy gets home until bath/bed time at 9 p.m.

This week has been the most relaxed I have felt since August of 2008. My job was so incredibly stressful this year--I had 6 different classes, from 8th grade English to 12th grade English with and ACT Prep class in there too. Plus I was Senior Class Sponsor, Academic Team Coach, and commuting 37 miles one way. This was the first year I really didn't think I'd make it to the end. It just presented more challenges than I had ever faced and I felt like I was treading water and trying to survive rather than teach. Many days I just wanted to quit, not because I stopped loving teaching, but because I stopped being able to handle everything else that is wrapped up in "school." I won't get into it, because it is over and done with, and I know next year will be much better. It's the FIRST TIME in FIVE YEARS that I am not spending this week packing up my classroom and moving to a new school. And it feels good. Receiving Teacher of the Year and seeing how much my Senior Class loved me this year really made it all feel worth it. Some people may say that is trite or cliche, but I've never been one to give a damn what other people think.

So, here begins my blog. I can't promise wittiness or even sanity every time I post. I can assure you (whoever you are) that there will be stories of my son's amazing cuteness, and about my husband's annoying job that is both a blessing and a burden at times, my own job, and my life in Elk City, Oklahoma.

My heart longs for Texas--I think I've almost made it into a Paradise in my mind--I miss my friends, the people who know me so well I don't even have to speak and they know the thoughts in my mind, I miss the food, the sounds, the convenience of big city life (I know, traffic, pollution, crime, etc. but you can't ruin it for me), I miss being paid a whole lot more for the work I do, I miss being close to my family, I just miss home. I know I am cheating myself out of so many opportunities to make friends by secluding myself....but it will get better. We are going to Disney World soon, and when we come back, we are going to start going to a new church here in town.