Friday, February 27, 2009

Penny Pincher With Class

I wanted to introduce my new read to y'all. I discovered her today and cannot stop reading her posts. She is a mom of three and writes mostly about frugal living. Her ideas are full of grace not to mention are desperately suited for today's living. Though a daughter of devout penny pinchers, I am sad to say that I did not inherit the trait. Living on less than one makes was plain common sense to my parents, so they didn't elaborate on it to much to their children. So, I am learning (the hard way) about how to live on less and budget. I've been inspired by Like Merchant Ships and cannot wait to share my findings and successes in my journey to COMMON SENSE with you all.    /109/270437535_ccf802fd98.jpg

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I Am Thankful For.... family because the people in it are awesome, my God who gives me peace, my blog and you, my faithful readers who willingly read this stuff.

At this point in my career, I feel it is important that I reflect on the positive things in my life. The days when I would get up in anticipation of going to work are fading away. I do not know if the problems I am encountering are unique to this particular group of students or whether their behavior is a reflection of the values of today's society as a whole. Since when is it OK to show direct defiance, argue, laugh at, look through teacher's desk, challenge EVERYTHING the teacher asks to do, and curse at the teacher?

To be frank with myself, I have to admit that I've been given a challenge this year and I currently suck at it. I wake up each day with the hope that today will be better and most always leave work disappointed.

Oh my.....I took a break from writing this post and turned on the radio. This song was on.

God has clearly spoken to me just now. I think I got his message.... I am to stop this whining right now and DO IT ANYWAY.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Dreaming of Revenge

Lately, I find myself dreaming a lot. No, not in the way of seeing dreams when I sleep. Because when one doesn't sleep, one cannot see dreams. I dream of the days when I, after a full nights sleep, all rested and rejuvenated, will quietly sneak into my kids' bedrooms, pull down their sheets and in a loud voice say,

"Wake up! Wake up! Time for school! Enough sleeping!"

And they will whine and tell me they want to sleep some more, but I will persist and if needed drag them out of their warm cozy beds. I can already see this day and cannot wait. Looks like for this dad, this day already came.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Piece of Art

Today I got to practice the long forgotten or the never learned skill to craft. Due to either genetics or my upbringing, I am not able to draw or make anything artsy for the life of me and I envy those of you who can. My small mind cannot comprehend how one can take a piece of material and make it into something she can wear outside the house. I also do not understand how anyone can transport an idea of a model or an illustration from their brains onto something tangible. Again, I envy you, pleasantview schoolhouse and the likes.

Because my daughter's kindergarten school is celebrating the 100th day of kindergarten, each family was asked to bring in a poster with 100 things on them. My first thought? Get out a pack of macaroni and glue 100 pieces on a piece of paper. And remember NOT to have my daughter write her name on it. This would take me about a half hour after which I can make dinner and maybe study a bit. For some unknown reason, a clever thought came to mind and I decided to make this instead. Don't you dare laugh.

This piece of art cost me two hours of study time. My neglect of the house and the inhabitants in it is currently evident by the humongous mess in the kitchen and other areas of the house I get to go clean up right now.

Now I know why I don't do crafts. I have no time, patience or ability to do them. But, when Abby takes it to school tomorrow, I know her head will be high when she will proudly display her mother's masterpiece setting a high standard to all. And if the teacher calls and asks to keep this FOREVER, I'll tell her I will just have to think about that.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ferris Bueller In the House

We have a Ferris Bueller in our house and she is only 5 years old.

This has been confirmed today when I picked Abby from school early because she complained of a stomach ache. Her behavior the rest of the day has proved that she either did not have a stomach ache at all or her pain was moderate enough for her to have stayed in school. She has been trying to fake being ill in the morning for several months now and I think I know why. Her kindergarten class splits into reading groups in the afternoon. She has been assigned a teacher whom she is not very fond of. I met this teacher and can understand her disfavor towards him. He is very tall and thin and has a head shaped like Mr. Potatohead's body. He is bold and has gray spots all over his head. He has large eyes with black circles underneath. He talks fast in a monotonous tone. He has had Abby in his group for two months when he learned from me that she knows almost no English and that her first language is Russian. Personable and likable he is not, but she is stuck with him until the rest of the year as he is the only teacher that teaches advanced reading level.

Yesterday, when my son expressed his wish to start school, she said, "School is boring. If you know a lot, you will get to go to a reading group!" Quite a threat!

I am heartbroken that a daughter of a school nerd is faking to get out of school. This is a potential TAG kid (brag insert) we are talking about! So I told her a story about a boy who cried wolf. I do not know that she gets it yet and I don't know what I will do if I get a call like that again from school. Being a teacher, I should be able to smell a Bueller from a mile away, but I fell for it today because of my mommy bear instinct to come to the rescue.

I read somewhere that when a child first says his/her first conscious lie, parents should not be alarmed, but pleased that their child is developing normally. What about a child first conscious fake? Is faking an illness part of every kid's childhood? Tell me your kid does/did it too!

Friday, February 13, 2009

I Feel So Loved....

I feel loved not because my husband got me roses, or a card, or a box of chocolates or diamonds. I feel loved because the class that gave me much grief during the transition/trial period showered me with gifts today. I wasn't just pleasantly surprised, I was shocked. This is the group that made me cry not once, but twice. For the first time (at least to my knowledge) in ten years in education I was called a b***h by a student in this class. It was this class that made me lose my appetite and skip lunch. They challenged most everything I said and did, and some were very defiant and rude. They have exposed my ears to so much profanity that two weeks teaching that class compensated for the whole year I was away from the foul mouth teenagers. To give you a better picture, watch 2 minutes and 26 seconds of this:

Needless to say, the last few weeks made my prospects of teaching in a community college and staying home with my babies even more desirable.

And then....they tell me they love me and melt my heart. Well, three of them did. I still gotta work on the other 24. Any ideas on how to win their hearts? Karate is out of the question.

Friday, February 6, 2009

I Am Such A Great Parent

As I write this, these are the ingredients that are currently digesting in my two-year old's stomach:

sorbitol, gum base, mannitol, xylitol, glycerin, natural and artificial flavoring, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, soy lesithin, and coloring.

Times 14. Yum.

Because I thought he knew better, I trusted my son's judgment and gave him a pack of gum to hold while we were driving to pick up my daughter from school. He acted like a two year old and ATE the entire pack before we made it back home. I read the ingredients and considered calling poison control, but was afraid to be laughed at or scolded. They would be right to do both. I cannot believe this happened to a boy whose mother makes an extra effort to avoid anything sweet or artificial and gives grandparents a long lecture when they send her kids home with a lolly pop. If you told me this happened to your kid, I would seriously judge your ability to parent. So go ahead and judge.

This wasn't the first time I acted foolish like that though. I also trusted my daughter with a permanent marker because she promised not to EVER use it only to find that she wrote her first and last name in red permanent marker on her creme colored night stand. She wasn't even clever enough to hide the identity of the offender!

Trust is a tricky thing. Trust blinds a lot of parents who naively believe that their child is an angel and would never ever do anything to betray that trust. Working with teenagers for the past ten years, I've seen this more times than I can count. And yet, having mutual trust is essential to a healthy parent-kid relationship.

So, can parents ever trust their kids 100% of the time? Should we reserve some trust no matter how great or old our kids are? I would love to hear your guys' opinions on this as after yesterday, I am leaning toward controlling everything they do for a long time.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Its winter time. You go about your day, doing a little cleaning here and there in an effort to prevent your house from looking like a total disaster. You're satisfied and think your house looks decent and then out of the blue......sun begins to shine sending its ray through your windows into the house and exposes the real pigs that live here. All the fingerprints on the windows, carpet stains, dust and more... oh my!!! So instead of taking your fresh air deprived kids out to the park, should one clean the house on such beautiful day as this? Nahhh.... outside we go! Snort.

Monday, February 2, 2009

In Anticipation of the Class From Hell

From the talk with my substitute teacher, I am to expect at least one difficult class tomorrow. Last time I had a difficult class, no-- a class from hell, was about two years ago when I came back from a maternity leave with my second kid. The students I had were not just bad as in the movies Stand and Deliver or Freedom Writers, or Dangerous Minds, they were rotten. They made me cry on the first day back and I am not an emotional person. I could not wait until the year was over.

Perhaps the most memorable moment that I remember was when one day, I was handing back papers and saw a method of birth control, chocolate flavored casually laying on the table. Now, what is a teacher to do in this type of situation? The bummer was that the student that had it out was actually the best student and the most respectful student in that class. He was the kind of student that you usually did not mind bending the rule for. I somehow was able to compose myself and made sure the situation did not escalate into a big deal.

I will keep you updated on how this group will greet me and whether or not I had to give them this Michele Pfeifer speech.

Seriously, the money is aint that good.

Wish me luck.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sushi Made It All Better

I do not know which country the expression "The road to man's heart is through his stomach" belongs to, but today again, I found it to be truth worthy.

Background/Excuse for what I did:
My kids have been sick with a flu and have had a nasty cough that was insubordinate to any treatments we've tried. So at night, Peter and I were busy enjoying the cough chorus and were running to three different bedrooms to comfort our little ones. We hardly got any sleep at all the last four nights. Needless to say I felt and looked like h**l. I had to go back to work for the first time last Friday to do some planning and pretty much hid in my classroom so no one would see the TRUE ME in my saggy jeans, with a makeup less face and very bad hairdo. I did stop to say hello to my boss, who said that "I look good" to which I replied that I am working on bringing my professional look back after a year long sabbatical away from the public.

So today, I left my hubby with my boys who are still recovering from their colds in an effort to update my look a bit and run some errands. I was gone for five hours. Here is what I did

1) Begged the salesclerk to take back a dress Abby never got to wear for the holidays but for which I did not have the receipt.
2)Spent that cash on some awesome deals at Ann Taylor Loft (one of my most favorite stores) including the $2.44 shoes. Did you get that? $2.44 for a pair of shoes. Our economy must really suck.
3) Took my daughter to get a badly needed haircut.
4)Got my eyebrows and upper lip waxed. Then with a RED face had enough courage to walk into an ATT store full of male clerks to switch my sucky phone to my old one . Yes, I found it, people. It was in the bag with the holiday dress. I still don't know how it got there.
5)Stopped by Trader Joe's and got some goodies, then stopped at a different store and got some diapers.
6)Looked at my watch and decided I better get some............sushi or else! I cannot believe it took us as long as it did to discover sushi. You know the real fresh kind, not the kind from a grocery store. There cannot be more heavenly of a food than it.

Guess what bag I brought into the house first? You got it. The sushi bag and saw a huge welcoming smile!

Ladies, what food warms your hubby's heart?