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Friday, February 25, 2011

Bad Idea!

For the 2nd time since I've been teaching 4th grade, I decided it would be a great idea to just tackle my workload tonight (Friday) and get it done before the weekend, freeing me of the burden, thereby freeing my mind.

........For the 2nd time since I started teaching 4th grade, I fell asleep before my red pen touched the first paper....for 3 HOURS!

Bad idea.

The good news is, my husband kindly closed the bedroom door and prepared a fabulous meal (with veggies!) for the kids. {**They could've let him know it was sandwich night**)


Thursday, February 24, 2011

"Whoa...A Priest Running."

As we left our school campus just now, Father Long breezed by on his afternoon jog.  Abby stopped dead in her tracks, eyes wide, and said, "Whoa...a priest running." She did not use exclamations, but a quick, monotone, confused expression.  It was hilarious, and I don't think I'll ever forget the look on her face.

I can't WAIT until mass this that she sees that priests are HuMaN!


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It's always something.....Thank God!

I teach 4th grade.  During my typical day I have a 30 minute lunch break each day.  In addition,  I have enrichment breaks.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays, my total break (if I combine all of the times together) is about an hour or more!  I get to go home at 3:30 if I want to.  I get off on all of the holidays and ALLLLL summer long.  What a dream..........

This is what you don't know about your kids' teachers. 

.................I never get one of those breaks.  I inhale my lunch so I can quickly jump to whatever task has BEEN waiting in my room.  Other than that, my other breaks typically are taken by a student who can't find a lunchbox, or needs to check out, or needs to make up work, or is sick, or hurt, or needs an ice pack, is being bullied, needs to "talk", lost their recess, needs help with an assignment, can't cross the road alone, needs the key because the gate is locked, has a knot in her shoe, can't find someone to play with, lost a sweater, or a sweatshirt, or a backpack, or a recorder, or some book that the library NEEDS right NoW! {just to name a few}....

Sometimes there is a well-meaning parent who just stopped in to say hi! {but as long as she's there} We end up talking about Susie or Joe for most of, all of, or more than the alotted time I have on my "break".

Then, there's the other faculty and staff.  If a teacher dares a stroll through campus without 22 children trailing behind her, she undoubtedly WILL be stopped by 2, 3, or 5 other faculty or staff members who have meeeeaning to assk you this question!

Dismissal?  This is open conference time.

So, as the day ends, I always look at my desk and think of how much work I have to take home, and how I got "nothing" done all day long!

The truth is I did get A LOT done that day and every day.  I helped a child that needed a band-aid, who felt sick and needed to feel loved, was a friend to a child who felt she had no one, stopped a bully, helped a struggling child to really "get" a concept, listened ~[no, reallly listened]~, and found a sweater, lunchbox, sweatshirt, library book, and notebook.

I may have helped another colleague in someway with that thing they had been needing to ask.  I may have solved the problem of how to create this prop or that one for a play, or helped with the Promethean Board, or at least contributed to an idea in someway.

I helped a parent to understand how to help their child at home with that darn reading comprehension, how to study, why he acts that way, why homework takes so long, where to go from here. 

This whole post was inspired by one thing.  I didn't send home signed papers today.  I've been swamped with grading papers lately {still finding that 4th grade rhythm} and had not recorded my class's grades in my book yet.  Well, there's lunch break (where I helped a child), then there's PE (when I had a much needed conference).....Then, there is always those last 30 minutes after PE and before homeroom when we usually have a little extra time. 

...................But, Susie brought a King Cake today.  Susie makes it a point, apparently, to always bring the first King Cake of the Mardi Gras season.  In my first year of teaching, I accidentally made a child feel like her treat was unwelcome because there was just too much work to do.  Of course, that is not at all what was said, but it didn't matter.  That's how she felt.  I didn't do that to Susie today.  We had no time for her scrumptious treat.  Zero.  I served it anyway.  The kids loved it.  Susie was the class hero.  Everyone left happy....with NO signed papers.
They'll get their papers tomorrow, and Susie will go home today and tell her mom how much everyone loved it with a big, fat smile on her sweet face.

Teachers ARE busy, all the time, even on breaks, even at home, even at night when they are up later than anyone grading papers, losing sleep over a student's class performance, getting to school earlier than anyone to get started on work.  Even during the summer when we plan and organize and clean and decorate.  Even during the holidays when the classroom is quiet.

I do it because I am selfish.  I love the feeling of helping a child feel important, smart, beautiful, needed, wanted, confident, or "cool".  I can't get enough.


P.S. If you have a child in my class, signed papers will go home tomorrow. ehem... Sorry.

Monday, February 21, 2011

This Little Pink Thing

I'm busier than I have been in a long time.  The kids are busy in school, we are building this house, Todd is very busy at work, I have more papers to grade than all of K-3 combined, let's not even mention housework.....whew, you get the point.

Today I picked up Cate from school.  She got in the truck, and said, "Oh, Mom, I almost forgot.  I got you this little pink thing.  Now, don't lose it this time."

So, all of my other responsibilities aside, I am now the gate keeper of this tiny little thing.  What it is, I don't know.  But, I can't lose it.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

"Mommy, Do I Look Pretty?"

These are the words I heard as I rounded the corner into my 3-year-old's bedroom today.  Lately, she has insisted on dressing herself.  While this new phase has been a much greater success than when my older daughter went through it, it is quite the opposite experience.

I still have to explain the concept of a cute fitted T vs. a baseball jersey to Abby {just did this 30 minutes ago, in fact}.  But, then, on the other end of the spectrum is Catie.  She would wear a boa, lipstick, and high heels daily if I'd let her.  Today, she has insisted on putting together her ensemble. I don't have the heart to tell her that some editing is needed.  Thankfully, it is not the most flamboyant I've seen. 

So, if you see our family out and about, that is not a tiny drag queen following us around.  It is, in fact, sweet Cate :)

Wave and smile..................


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

Lately I have had the issue of my kids LYING about brushing their teeth! 

How dare they!! 

I thought I had scared them enough with the cavity talk.  The "sugarbugs" are no longer a believable entity.  What else to do??!!?

ENTER...The electric toothbrush!!  Yes, your kids can also have the cleanest teeth in town without even a thought of faking the beloved bedtime routine.

At bedtime tonight, as I type, all I can hear is the precious wrrrr, wrrrrr, wrrrr of the Crest Spinbrush.

MuSic to my ears................


A Hairy Situation

Any girl knows the bond between herself and her hairdresser is a strong one.  It is not just a business deal or an appointment every six to eight weeks.  It's an experience.  Who else is going to give you a relaxing scalp massage, adjust the water temperature just right, and gab with you for at least an hour about your life??  My hairdresser, Michelle (at Five Elements in Lafayette) does all of these things.  She not only asks me what is going on in my life, but actually seems genuinely interested. 

This is also a time when a very busy mom can sit and spend much needed time sans kids, in adult conversation, worrying only about herself (which ONLY happens at this one-hour haven every 6 weeks). Not to mention, it brings back much needed memories.  Maw Maw (former owner of Jo's Beauty shop in Youngsville in the 60's) used to wash our hair in her home shampoo bowl as kids, and it's one of my favorite memories of her.

Oh, yeah, Michelle.  Michelle cuts my mop, too.  For years, I looked for a hairdresser that would tell ME what I should do with my hair, not wait for me to tell them. You see, I have very little fashion sense, unfortunately.  I grew up as a tomboy, never playing with dolls, never wearing a dress, never knowing WHAT to do with my hair.  But, Michelle, always knows.  And that's her job, to know what to do with her clients' hair.  She doesn't even HAVE to talk to me, or give me those fab massages, or give me complimentary bang trims at the mid-six-weeks mark, but she does. 

But, now, I have moved 75 miles away.  It is becoming harder and harder to make it to my appointments. My hair is longer than it has been since Michelle entered my life. I guess I need to find someone in my new town for those times that it is just impossible to make it to Five Elements Salon, but that is easier said than done.  I'm not just looking for a hairdresser.  I feel like I'm looking for a new "relationship".  How dramatic.

So, today, I am at my mom's, and she has these wonderful sheers.  My hair is longggg, Michelle is sick :(, and I am leaving town after lunch.  This means at least one more week of this hair that is in desperate need of some lovin'.  It's a dangerous situation.  I've cut my bangs...still good.  But these wonderful thinning sheers are intriguing to me, and I would love to just start chopping at the parts of my 'do that are the most annoying at the moment (Okay, I did already chop a bit...{I couldn't HeLp it!}.  Now, I've put them down, stepped away, regrouped.  If you see me from behind, my head may be lopsided.  I don't know, I can't see back there.  My mom hasn't said anything, though, so maybe it's  okay.

I'll try to remain strong, and schedule an appointment as soon as I can.  Until then, I'll be in search of a new hair technician who also has a soft, lovable side, listens to my drama, and gives my hair as much TLC as Michelle does. 

I have to wrap this whole drama fest up now because Catie has cut her sweet finger, and needs ALL of my attention.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

bicker, bicker, quarrel, quarrel......OUCH!

Abby:  "I slapped him in the head for a reason!"

Me:  "Why was that?"

Abby:  "Well...I forgot!"

(in the background.....CrAshH!!!)

It's raining, it's really cold,  the kids are cranky...even the Wii can't save us. {aaAAaaaggghHHHH!}

That groundhog better be right.

(needing a sushi getaway right about now.)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Can't you read??


Mom, I wrote you a note.   Here.  Read it.


Dear Mom,

I love you very much.


NO!!! Let me read it.

Dear Mom,

I'm sorry I hit Zac and Abby.  I will not hit them ever, ever again.  I love you very much.  And the family lives happily ever after.  And, that's our family tree on Disney Channel.  Because I love you so much, and I love you very much, Mommy.  8-9-10.  The end.

{Gotta love a 3-yr-old}


Faux Sneaux

Okay..the sheer mention of a "wintry mix" from the local weatherman on Wednesday sent this entire Cajun state into panic and preparation for what was to come.  Never mind that people in Chicago are trapped on roadways because they refuse to let a "little" snow stop them from venturing out.
Shut her down!  All schools, public buildings, and small businesses went home, put on the flannels, lit the fireplace and waited.

...and waited

...and waited

It's Friday now.  While we did experience about 8 entire minutes of miniscule hail on Thursday morning, it seems this was a false alarm.  Sure, hindsight is 20/20...better to be safe than sorry...I know all this....but I have 3 kids, INside, for the last 30 or so hours.  It's getting a little crowded in the itty bitty rent house.

The mood went from roaring celebration Wednesday night when we received the automated call from the school to crankiness somewhere in the early evening yesterday.  The kids are grouchy, bored, tired of looking at each other. Frankly, I'm beginning to feel the same.  I never thought I'd say it, but.....we miss school.

There, I said it.  We miss school.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Zac's biography

Zac had a question on a library test:

If someone wrote a biography about you, what are two things you would want people to know about you?

His reply: "I was born on 9/11/01 on the same day the airplanes crashed into the Twin Towers.  I've been very good at art my entire life."

Interesting to know what 2 things my kids think are the most interesting facts about themselves.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I know, by the title it all sounds pretty dramatic.  Well, not really.  I'm just figuring it all out.

The year was 1984...World's Fair, New Orleans, LA.  I was 9ish.  The whole, happy family boards the Gondola (Is that what it's called?..You know, overhead transportation device).

My dad was always afraid of heights and always a prankster.  Bad combination.  The entire ride was spent with my dad on the floor of the ride "pretending" to be so scared of the ride.  It scared me...a lot.  As a 9-yr-old, I felt there was something to fear in that high ride.  It was the first time I felt not in control, and I hated it.

Now, today...I always like to be very in control.  I hate heights. Avoid it at all costs.  But, other than that, it has also caused me to "test the waters" before I jump in with both feet.  I won't ski in Colorado, I won't go on any type of ride more daring than the Tilt-a-Whirl, I won't ride on a jet ski, or try to water ski.  I get scared when the boat goes too fast.  If there is one thing I could change about fabulous me, that would be it.  Well, maybe I would ask to change a few more things, but you get the point.

Anyway, I held back today.  At my new school, my classroom is secluded and I am so out of touch with everyone, making it harder to get to know anyone (remember, I'm new to this town).  It was the annual teachers vs. eighth graders volleyball game.  {They don't let them win either...this is serious competition.}  I chose not to participate and regret it.  I know, it sounds like no big deal, and it's really not THAT big of a deal.  It's just one more thing I chose to sit and watch instead of get up and DO!

Part of this is the former shy kid that comes out every now and then, but mostly it is the fear of the unknown.  I'm new and wasn't sure how the whole game would play out.  Don't get me wrong, I'm no Gabby Reece, but it would have been so much fun, and I missed out.

So, lesson of the day, grab the bull by the horns and just do it!  Jump in with both feet!  Throw caution to the wind!  (Insert your favorite idiom here).

By the way, "Jumping In With Both Feet" is the name of a blog I follow.  I do not know the author at all.  She is married to an old high school friend who always jumps in with both feet. (This is the guy I went to Sadie Hawkins with in high school, and I stood on my head for that picture.  He was that funny guy that will do anything.)  A link to her blog: She's a very talented writer. They've recently sold everything they own and moved from Austin to Hawaii.  Enjoy!


One more thing, I was also traumatized at 13 when I asked my mom if my nose was big, and she replied, "You'll grow into it."  This has nothing to do with the earlier traumatic event, but does have to do with the one more thing I would change.