Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Unique Pumpkin Patch Experience and Pictures

Last Friday, I realized that being a mom for the last six years has apparently taught me absolutely nothing. Because if it had, I would have probably:

1) not decide to take my kids to pumpkin patch across the town on a Friday night
2) not had to take a long alternate route because the freeways were packed
3) calculated in the two potty stops (30 minutes of total duration) that I would have to make
4) visited the patch's website to learn that most activities would close by the time we would get there
5) not drive for 2 hours just to be there for 30 minutes

6) not have to lure my kids back to the car by promising sushi

There was maybe but two other lost souls there besides us, so we had the place to ourselves. The thirty minutes that we did spend there were fun with children just enjoying the free space to run around and pose for my sister's camera. She got a lot of very cute pictures of them. Some of them are below. I will post more when she gives them to me. In the mean time, can someone tell me why my pics show up so small in size and resolution? Tina, Heather, Tanya your pictures are always so bright and big, how do you do it?

Monday, September 28, 2009

What would you say...

...if in the middle of class two girls approached and asked you if they could both go to the bathroom because one needed to show another how to put in a tampon? I said nothing, I was speechless. I then offered one with the problem to take my purse which had a pad in it to the bathroom. She declined as she was too embarrassed. Go figure.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Second Language Milestone

"Dude, I don't want to do homework for the Russian school, " said my six year old when she came from school the other day.

I thought I heard her wrong and ignored the d-word. So when she used it again and again the next few days while using various "I don't wannu" and "I am not gonna" sentences, I had to accept that my daughter has officially entered the next step in her English language development also known as learning the SLANG. I am happy that she is progressing, but hearing her say words like dude, dumbest, and weirdo makes me both laugh and cringe. It is funny because at this time last year, she entered school knowning no English at all other than colors, letters and numbers. It makes me cringe because I don't think a first grader should be going around using "dude" in every other sentence.

If she starts talking like this early on, by the time she grows up she will for sure beat all those "Like, for sure, dude. Totally. Yah, right" people who have annoyed the heck out of linguists and other educated professionals.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


I have obliged my self to a form of insanity which only those who are currently committing the same can empathize with me. Everyone else to whom I whine just shake their heads and think me crazy. Those who do not understand the scope of my craziness think me a wuss.

I have accepted a temporary subbing job for someone who is now on a leave of absence. Not sure now if this was such as clever idea. For four more weeks, I am to be at work everyday before sunrise; very hard to do for someone who gets up at least three times a night. I have to prep for four different classes two of which are new to me. Needless to say, I haven't graded a thing for the past two weeks and the inbox of students' work is currently overflowing. I am also currently enrolled in two graduate level courses, one if which is linguistics. Though the subject is very interesting to me, the workload isn't. The homework duration of 6-10 hours a week, hangs over me like a dark cloud following me everywhere I go, sending occasional showers my way as a reminder that it has not been touched.

So I come home to three little kids who want to hang on me and all I feel like doing is sit there, stare at the wall and collapse for a nap. I feel that I am leaving all of my passion and energy at work and school and bring back my tired body that is useless. I know I am not the only mom who works full time and comes home to other responsibilities. I seriously do not know how or where you get the time and energy to get all of the things that need to get done around the house and spend constructive time with your children. There isn't enough hours after work to do it all well.

Yesterday, we took our kids to OMSI. They explored different exhibits and had a blast. This reminded me of how much I miss being home with them every other day. Going to OMSI was a regular outing for us. Now, I am happy if we make it to the park after work.

I know working full time is not how I want to spend the next few years while my children are small. I am considering putting schooling on hold for a while too. It is simply not fair to do this to my children and my spouse. For now, I am thankful that part of the craziness will be over in four weeks and I will be back to being more of a mom rather than the blob that I am now.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Let My People Go!

I've heard several improvisations of this song, this (probably the closest to the original)is by far my favorite. I love his voice! Enjoy.

City Slickers

One day, my husband and I dream of living on a few acres of land. We dream of a house that is not too small and not too big. The location of our new place would have a far away from the city feel but be close enough to it that we won't have to travel too far to get to places we visit often. Our kids would be free to roam around the property, build forts, help plant gardens, play hide and seek in the forest and just be outdoors all summer day long. For now, we are bound to be city slickers. Despite taking a few camping trips and going on hikes this summer, it was made obvious to me today that our children do in fact suffer from NDD (Nature Deficit Disorder).

I was interrupted from watching our Sunday service online with some commotion downstairs. When I looked down, my daughter who was still in her pajamas, put on her flip lops and my rain coat, and with big eyes looked up at my confused face and said,

"Mom, I am going outside to look at the stream."

"What stream?" I asked in confusion and looked outside at the pouring rain. Our first Autumn rain. Sign.

The sheep followed her...

...to look at the stream that was made by my neighbor's clogged gutter.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

An Encounter With a Whale

First contract day of work, convocation, the most beloved event by all. This is when the first part of the morning is spent by the administration waking us up from the summer daze, cheering us on that the new school year has started and how we teachers can do absolutely everything. The next part of the morning is spent by listening union reps telling us not to work too hard and not to do things that are not on our contract and not to hesitate to contact them if the principal asks to hold the door for her when you are on your way out of the building. It is on this day that I had an encounter with a whale.

I woke up at 5am that morning and could not fall back asleep. I was having convocation jitters, I think. Guilt is also most overwhelming during the first days back from being home with kids for a prolonged amount of time. And I was feeling just that. Guilt. I get so used to being home and having a certain routine that I almost forget what it is that I do for a living. Anyway, I pulled up to the parking lot a few minutes early and the only free parking spots empty were marked "reserved". Because the entire district staff meets at this school, it is often assumed that these signs can be ignored. As I pulled up to park, a person in the newly parked car rolls down his windows and says

" Did I take your parking spot?"

"No, I thought I just took someone's spot", I answered.

Just then I recognized that I was speaking to the superintendent of our district.

"How about we just park here for now", he said with a smile.

I felt like saying "Whatever you say, your majesty", but refrained.

As we were walking to school we exchanged some small talk. He asked me about my home school and what I do there. The conversation (naturally) then led to me being a mom of three and staying home with them when I am not at work. He told me about his three children as well. When that wrapped up, I felt the need to say something clever but nothing clever came out. Just then, I felt smaller than a sardine walking next to him and I realized that I have absolutely nothing to say to a whale.

Perhaps I could have asked him how it was to balance a budget that was several million dollars in red. Or how he felt about cutting so many teaching positions. Or I could have asked him if he enjoys his $200K salary alright. Or I could have asked him whether or not he likes education after being in it for 33 years. At least I would appear well read and intact with the district news. Right.

Instead, some nonsense came out and the conversation ended with him telling me to enjoy my children because they grow up way too fast. I thought about that and about how I am just not that great at coming up with clever answers at the spur of the moment and how by the time I process things it is too late to say it.
I am sure he forgot my name the very second I gave it to him, but I'll probably remember this early morning for a long time.