Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Crazy day: before and after

BEFORE (11:00 AM):

Dread. Dread.  Dread.

I am dreaaaaaaaaaaaading this afternoon like crazy.  I'm not even sure I will post this... I think I'll wait and see how this all goes down, or maybe I'll do a before/after the meeting.  I hate confrontation.  This meeting involves some people I care about very much and it seems they're less than happy with me.  I'm afraid I'm going to go and make it all worse instead of making it all better.

One of my biggest frustrations is when I feel like someone misunderstands my actions.  I feel sick when I feel like I can't make people understand where I was coming from or if they feel like I did something terrible and I can't make them see that it wasn't what I meant to do.  That's how I feel today.  And the closer I am to those people, the harder it is.  I'm not great at shrugging off things people say even when I don't know them very well; you can imagine how it is for me when it is someone that I really care about.  I'm so emotional.

The thing is, I'm not going to change anyone's mind.  It's just so hard for me to know that someone's upset with me.  That's part of life, I know.  You can't please all of the people all of the time.  Why do I spend so much time trying?  Why does it matter to me so much?  It totally does.  I have zero confidence when it comes to face-to-face confrontation.


*heavier sigh*

I just want today to be over.  I want to be home in my red sweats and an old, soft t-shirt.  I want to go for a walk.  I want to pet my cat.  I want to take off my shoes.  I want to eat some comfort food and hug my husband.  I want to hear my kids laugh.

Five more hours...


AFTER (6:30):

Pheeeeeeoooooouf.  Well that was a day! I'm just glad it's over.  Honestly, I feel like I can face Sunday and my race with no problems if I can get through this day.  For whatever reason, minimum days feel like they're twice as long as regular days.  Maybe it's because the kids are all hyped and all anyone can do is look at the clock to see if it's time to go.  ALL DAY.

The workshop I was teaching (to teachers) went great and the meeting I was dreading was hard, but it ended well.  I feel like we resolved the issue at hand, and afterword I had a chance to make amends with some people I was worried about.  I will sleep tonight, and I'm glad I took care of it so I don't have to chew on it and worry anymore.

My foot is still so freaking gross.  No running today--and just a 2 miler tomorrow, which seems like a sunny vacation in Maui, honestly.  Two miles?  That's just fun time.  We're getting closer and closer... Half marathon this Sunday.

I'm off to marinate myself in Wednesday night TV.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Randoms. Just randoms.

Nothing coherent, only a bunch of junk tonight.

First, this post over at Loralee's Looney Tunes made me laugh out loud this morning when I read it (in my bed, on my Google Reader, on my iPhone--my daily blog reading wake-up ritual.) I can't bear to type the post title here, but let's just say that I agree with everything she said. Topic? The cringe-worthy Twilight Series.

Second, thanks to my bud Annemarie over at Brunch at Saks who continues to be a blog inspiration to me.  And a twitter inspiration.  And basically an everything inspiration.  She gave me such a lovely shout out on her blog today and I thank her.  She's a former student and I'm so proud that I played even a teeny part in her education--she's turned into quite the classy broad.  :)

(As Addie would say,) Next, I had one of the fastest runs of my life this afternoon.  Four miles at about a 10:30 pace.  WHAT?!?!?! Who cares, I was spee-dee.  To put this in perspective, my normal pace lives right on the street between 12:00 and 12:30.  Today I left the iPod at home, so no Majel in my ear telling me my pace, no music, no nuthin'.  My blister did come off again (this is getting old, people) but I felt really good.  I've been reading some books by John "the Penguin" Bingham that E's Aunt Mar loaned me.  I think what helped me a lot was that he talks about listening to your body--I was trying to maintain a pace where I couldn't hear my breathing, so I'd slow down a bit every time I could.  I ended up being much more comfortable than I was on my last run.  I felt great.  Socks worked well, but at mile 3.5 I lost my foot skin.  I think it's just going to take time to heal.

I also have a new reader, Allison, and she gave me an award!  Woohoo!  Allison found me through Travelin' Oma, of whose School Days I am an official dropout.  I started getting too sad when the weekly travel posts would come around since my chances at travel are currently nil.  I have high hopes that I'll return to Oma and her lovely assignments once I get my schizz together, but that isn't happening this week.  Check out Allison's blog.  Part of the award is to list some things about yourself... I did that in this post where I discussed Why PE Screwed Me Up.  Thanks to Allison and it's nice to meet ya.

Tomorrow I have a marathon day--minimum day teaching, two workshops (one I'm teaching) and a meeting I am dreading like nobody's business.  I hate confrontation.  Hate, hate, hate.

But real life is great today.  I love that I have time with the kids after school and time with E and time to run and eat and sleep at night.  Awesome.  Oooh--and I started following GreatestQuotes on twitter, which is providing me with lots of choices for my quote of the day in English.  For example:

"They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel." - Carl W. Buechner

Take care,


Sunday, September 27, 2009

What should I know before my race?

Maybe Sunday wouldn't seem quite as bad if I looked at it like the chance to start the week off on the right foot.  I usually trend toward feeling crummy from about 5:00 on Sunday night because it means fun time is over and work time is about to start.  Maybe I can think about all the great things I have ahead (and a few of the not-so-great ones) and maybe I can plan for a good week.


Lots going on.  I'm still totally riding the wave of self esteem that came from my 10 miler yesterday.  My foot, unfortunately, is feeling the pain BIG TIME.  That pesky (and huge) blister that showed up a few weeks ago is back with a vengeance and I can't really put weight on the bottom of my foot right now.  I'm trying to be really good about taking care of it so I don't have to hop 13.1 miles on one leg next weekend.  I went and bought a bunch of first aid supplies at the Wal earlier, and my foot is currently swaddled like a three week old baby.  Little burrito foot.  Hope it gets well SOON.  According to my training plan, I only have a few short runs this week and that's good news for my blister.  Looks like a 4 miler, a walk day and then a 2 miler.  Easy peasy, as long as my foot skin stays intact.  I'm getting so excited for Sunday.

I also went in to the running store to ask about why this foot blister is happening, and I discovered it's because of my socks.  YOU GUYS, why didn't somebody tell me that I need to be running in an all polyester sock?  No, I'm not blaming you (well, only partially--ha) because I know the way I am, and I know people asked me about socks and I just heard "poly" and I thought that poly blend would work... meaning cotton-poly blend, meaning BAD.  I guess the little cotton scrapies got to me and effed things up, so now I have this wound the size of Texas on my right foot.  Anyhoo, I bought some good socks at the running store and now we're good to go.

Hey, speaking of Texas my friend Sarah from Texas is going to be here in California all week visiting.  I think I'm going to see her and my other dance studio buddies from high school on Thursday night for dinner.  That's one of the good things this week.  It's been a long time since I've seen any of them.  I love being with old friends where you just sink back into whatever conversations you were having in 1997 like comfortable easy chairs.  Ahhhh... Looking forward to it.

The bad things?  Well, they're not bad but I have to teach a tech workshop for teachers at my school on Wednesday and then attend an after-workshop meeting which I feel kinda anxious about... and then grades are due on Friday.  It just all seems to happen at once.  But like I said, I'm going to have a good week.  I'm making it happen.

I'm actually hoping this week goes quickly...

So I have a question for some of you.  This is my first race ever, and I don't know what to expect at all.  Anything I should be aware of?  Do?  Not do?  Race etiquette I should observe?   I'd love any and all suggestions, and I'm saying that to all three of you who will read this post.   What should I know before my first race?

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Before I recap my ten mile lameness run, I thought I'd share the pic of Addie's new glasses.  Cherry berry Princess glasses.  I totally love them, and so does she.  She looks so old!

Okay, TEN.  I'm still in that place where I can't really comprehend that I can run ten miles, but I did.  I guess I better get used to it, because my first official race, the Sacramento Cowtown Half Marathon, is next weekend. I'm excited.  I can't believe I'm going to do this.

So the run was pretty bad.  No idea why, I think it was just one of those days.  I had to walk a lot, and most of the time from about miles 3-5 and then from miles 7-9, I just wanted to lay down on the sidewalk and sleep.  I don't think sleepiness is a quality you want to your running.  I have no idea why--the heat?  my diet yesterday which included skipping lunch?  stress from work?  The point is... WHO CARES is the point.  It was lame, but I got through it.

I figure this is good.  In dance, a crappy dress rehearsal usually means a good performance.  You get it all out and over before the real deal.  Of course, people use this as an excuse to not prepare before the dress rehearsal, that is not at all what I mean.  Sometimes you have to work out the kinks even when you're prepared.  Sometimes you have to get the nerves and the awkwardness out before you can do your best.  Whoa, Nelly, did I ever do that today.

I could just tell it was going to be a bad one, the minute I hit the pavement.  It seemed like it took me forever to run the first three and I was bored out of my gourd.  Tummy started to act up about mile 4, and I was just not having it.  I felt heavy and tired and LAME.  Luckily I'd planned my run to go right past my Gram's house, so I stopped and filled up my water bottles and to use the bathroom.  Gram also gave me an Immodium, which I believe saved the rest of my run.  Gram could have talked my ear off, so it ate into my time a little bit, but it's a nice problem to have, being around someone who loves you so much she wants to chat it up.  I need to go back when I can stay and sit down.

I'm proud of myself for getting it done even when it was painful and slow.  I had to walk a lot but I did it.  This gives me hope that I'll actually cross that finish line next Sunday.  If I feel this proud about running 10 this morning, think of how amazing it will feel to finish a HALF MARATHON and get my bell.  So excited.

Another thing these small victories remind me is that I have a lot to be thankful for.  My life is so different than it was when I sat down at the computer on January 2 of this year to write my first blog post.  At that time I was in such a dark place--E had been gone three months and we were facing divorce, I only had the kids with me half time, I wasn't enjoying my job or exercising or pursuing any creative outlet.  I had lost half of my extended family with the split, and I missed them all dearly.  Most importantly, I didn't have my best friend.  I started writing that night because I had too much banging around in my head and it was making me crazy.  My world was small because I had closed it off to the people around me because I was in so much pain.  I'm amazed at how much life can change in 9 months.  E and I are happily (and more maturely) back together, and I enjoy his friendship and love more than I could ever explain to you.  I'm writing every single day, and I'm not only setting but achieving the health goals I've set for myself. I know the pendulum of 'life experiences' will swing back the other way, but I am thankful that so many blessings have come into my life in this last 9 months.  I'm anxious to see where we're headed now.

And how's this for something exciting, encouraging, and heart-warming?  E found his wedding ring.  It's been missing since he moved out--or really, we only noticed it once he moved back in and we renewed our vows and it was nowhere to be found.  I've been so sad about it--I even asked him once if he pawned it or chucked it off a pier when we were going to split and said that I'd forgive him because I just wanted to be with him... (He said he had it, he just couldn't find it.)  He found it Friday afternoon in a plastic bag in our closet--in one of the last boxes he unpacked after moving back in.  I'm was HAPPY he found it that I made him take this janky "wedding rings" photo in our hallway that afternoon.  :)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Henry singing "You Are My Sunshine"

Here he is, showing off the new hole in his face:

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Seen and heard, 9/24

Me (To a freshman boy, as a pen was leaving his outstretched hand and flying toward another student): __________, knock it off. I asked you to stop throwing things.

_________: I DIDN'T. Heeeee made meeeee.

Me: Which one is it, you didn't do it, or he made you do it? Because it's pretty hard to deny it when I watched the pen as it was was leaving your hand.

From a parent email (because of a lunch detention I assigned another kid for disruptive behavior when I had a sub): "I'd like to see the surveillance tape of that class period. I would like to review the DVR of the class..."


Oh, how I wish I had a surveillance tape! Nobody believes the stuff that goes on in my classroom.
I wish there really was a way these people could see how their children behave.

Me (to Hank and Ad in the bathtub after I heard a HUGE splash): What is going on in there?

Hank: I accidentally jumped.

Me (to my class of seniors): I'm going to give you a synopsis of each book so you can decide which one you want to read.

Student: Can I use that word for my vocabulary?

Me: Yeah, sure.

Student: Okay, how do you spell it... what was it? Syn-op-shish?

(Conversations in the bathtub... overheard...)

Ad: Want to come over for dinner? And stay?

Hank: Yeah, I don't have any parents, so sure. I cook dinner. I cook fish.

Ad: Who else is coming?

Hank: My friend Motor. Bbbbbbbbbbbbbbrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Ad: I have a question.

Hank: Okay, I don't have a mom and dad. They died.

(Don't worry, just pretend stuff. Just makes me sad that's where he's goin' tonight.) :(

Me (to E): Are you really going to eat that hash? It smells like dog food.

E: It's corned beef and potatoes.

Me: Corned beef dog food.

E: I always wanted to try dog food. I bet it would be pretty good. Didn't you see Lethal Weapon?

Reviews of two old(ish) indie films I just watched

Perhaps it was spurred by my frustration with the fact that I finally found a talk show that I liked (The Bonnie Hunt Show) that I didn't feel like was rotting my brain, and it is now off the air in Sacramento... but I was looking for things to add to my Netflix queue the other day and I typed in Bonnie Hunt. I ended up adding two of her independent films (neither recent) that both affected me and were interesting.

And I have a blog, so... I'm going to write about them. Plus, E is looking at me every time I open the Netflix like did you really have to rent another Bonnie Hunt movie? and I'm like mind your own business and go back to watching whatever karate-related abomination you rented. We're so cute that way.

Anyway, on to the movies. Like I said, I'm a Bonnie Hunt fan. I've liked her in stuff like Jerry Maguire, Return to Me, The Green Mile, and yes--even Cheaper By The Dozen--I'm so hokey. I like when she's on Letterman, I liked her talk show until they took it off the air in Sacramento... SERIOUSLY YOU GUYS. It's still taping and it's showing like everywhere else in the country. Except here. What a stupid thing for me to be angry about, but I liked it, okay? I'm seriously so upset about this. Tomorrow she's having David Duchovny on... yesterday was Michael Emerson from Lost, and Phil from the Amazing Race... and I am missing it all. It's killing me.

See, I interrupted myself again. Movies.

The first one I watched was Stolen Summer, the Project Greenlight/HBO series film. I haven't seen Project Greenlight, but I'd like to after seeing the film. I enjoyed this one a lot. Sweet story about two families--one Catholic, one Jewish--each with a little boy. Pete, the little boy from the Catholic family, decides that he's going to help someone get into Heaven by standing outside the Synagogue and meeting someone Jewish. It would seem that the movie could turn into some dicey religious stuff, but it's actually a very sweet look at how we're more similar than different. Rabbi Jacobsen ends up befriending him, and Pete becomes friends with the Rabbi's little boy, Danny. They spend the summer together with Pete "testing" Danny by a process of imagined feats to see if he can "get into" Heaven. There's a sad twist to the story, but in the end the families are tied together in a way that's very touching. This wasn't a loud movie or a perfect one, but I enjoyed it. Very sweet and a realistic view of 1970's Chicago and into the lives of these two families.

Aidan Quinn and Bonnie Hunt play the Catholic husband and wife, and Quinn's reaction to the Rabbi's family reaching out is done really well. Rabbi Jacobsen is played by Kevin Pollak. The little kids are also great. Worth watching.

The second of these films was another independent film called Loggerheads. For a variety of reasons, this isn't a movie for everyone, but it was one of those movies that stuck with me for several days after watching it. It was incredibly moving. One of those movies that makes you think and makes you feel and is still in your head when you're walking around the next day. And I got a real, authentic cry from it. Sometimes that's just what I need.

The premise of Loggerheads is that it's Mothers' Day in three consecutive years--the time line is a bit confusing at first, but you're seeing three people's lives unfolding simultaneously in 1999, 2000, and 2001 in North Carolina. One of the stories is about Mark, a young adopted gay man in his 20's who has drifted into a small beach town to see endangered Loggerhead turtles. The second focuses on Mark's adoptive mother and father, a minister and his wife who cut their son from their life once they realized that he was gay. The third storyline follows Grace, Mark's birth mother who recently attempted suicide and is struggling with whether or not she should try to locate the son she gave up for adoption (at her mother's insistence) when she was 17. Heavy stuff. Like said, it's not a movie for everybody, but I found it incredibly moving, and incredibly well done.

The movie was quiet, it moved a little slowly, but the performances were so powerful, especially from Ms. Hunt as Grace--and here she's playing such a vulnerable dramatic role with such real pain. The move is interesting because there are no bad guys--everybody seems to be just doing the best they can at the moment, but there's so much between them and so much about regret and decisions we make and the repercussions they have. Each character was very real. I've read some of the criticism related to this film and it says that the Loggerhead turtle metaphor is overplayed--I think that because I could envision this as a novel it didn't bother me. But you could decide for yourself. I liked it.

I feel a little silly reviewing things that have been out in the universe for some time--there's also the fear that everyone has already decided about something that's been around for a while. I thought these movies were both worthwhile, though, so I thought I'd share. Often I stare at the Netflix queue with no ideas about what to watch, so it's sometimes nice to discover something that's been around a while. I also really like when something I watch can affect me on a deep level, and both of these films did that. I had a great cry after Loggerheads. Oh, man. But I'm not afraid of that. Sometimes it's easier to cry about a movie than my real life, you know? And I like when it's not trivial or some sort of contrived story--this one felt real and it touched me as a mom.

Just something to think about.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The free sandwich that cost a tooth.

Okay, I may or may not have eaten Chick Fil-A for two meals yesterday. Also, that’s not really the most significant thing that happened. I’m a sucker for a giveaway or a coupon or a meal deal, so I should know better… in this case if we’d just stayed home and eaten PBJ we’d have two more teeth in our family. Well, one and a half…

Tuesday I forgot my lunch. I made an executive decision to hit up Taco Bell at lunch time, and I figured I had exactly enough time to run to the staff lounge to check on some sign-in sheets I was overseeing, then leave to visit the Bell. On my way up to the staff lounge I remembered that I had something like $11 left on my lunch account at school, so I really should be buying lunch there instead of spending the extra money. $11 might make or break us this month. No, not kidding. I know, you’re wondering where all this is going and how it gets to a tooth. Trust me. It gets there.

So I go in the staff lounge and there’s this girl with curly hair and braces standing there with an ice chest full of Chick Fil-A, handing them out. Naturally, I assume I’ve walked in on some secret meeting of the Chick Fil-A Purchasing Awesome People’s Club of our High School, so I turn to head back out the door when I hear her say, “Hey, do you work here? Want a free sandwich?” Yes. Yes I do. After this I see that there’s a tea house that’s also brought all kinds of interesting iced teas. For $Free.99. Score. There’s something so delicious about free food at the end of the month.

Part of the deal with these places was a coupon for another free thing when you came into the store. Being the fool for advertising that I am, I convinced E that we needed to combine said free coupon with the Tuesday night ‘Kids Eat Free’ deal and get ourselves some Chick. Yes, FOR THE SECOND TIME THAT DAY. It’s that time of the month, okay? LAY OFF ME, I'M STARVING.

We hit up the Chick—because I’m nothing if not healthy—and our friends ML/B were there at the same time. We picked out a table for the kids and one for us and we sat down to catch up. Nothing like a swanky restaurant for us… Actually, it’s nice to see ML/B any time we see them, and we often frequent fine dining establishments like the local Froyo place, so this was no prob. I like that about them. They’re so normal. Anyhoot, we all ate and the kids were bouncing out of their skin to go play in the play place, so I sent E over to check it out and then we let them go.

ML/B’s son, Carter, is a year younger than Henry, so sometimes he needs a little bit more reassuring. He was in and out of the play place a few times but we didn’t think anything of it. The place was SWARMING with kids, but the way they have the play structure set up, it’s pretty isolated—doesn’t open up to the outside or anything so it was no big deal that the kids were over there by themselves. We could see them in the window and we waved to them every once in a while between catching up on grownup business. (Side note: some day ML/B and Heric will have a grownup double date wherin they will be able to have complete, uninterrupted adult conversations without having to stop and wipe noses or say ‘be careful, sweetie’ or get somebody a drink of water. Someday. I’m an optimist.)

So we’re all there in our happy Chicken-fueled world with Honey Mustard on the side, and suddenly the door of the play place lets open and a bloodcurdling scream flies out. Whose child is making that awful noise? I don’t even have to look. I feel that scream in my bones. I hear E say “it’s Henry” and I’m up and out of my seat, running to my poor boy who is crying and bleeding profusely from his mouth. Crazies abandoned, I go into full Mama Bear mode. I scoop him up and hold him so tight. Nothing hurts me like these monkeys being in pain. I look down and I see that there’s a hole where his front tooth was. Oh. My. God.

Poor bud. I know that losing a tooth is pretty mild on the list of things a kid can do, but he’s screaming. He’s bleeding. I’m scared it broke off or that he did some damage to his face or his jaw. His lip is swollen, bleeding some more. There’s snot pouring down his upper lip and his whole face is wet. I don’t even remember where everybody else at our table went, I think B went to get some ice, and I learned later that E went into the play structure in full Papa Bear mode and had all the kids in there searching for the lost tooth with healthy fear.

I love how we instantly snap into our natural states when our kid is in pain—I want to scoop and nurture, or maybe just completely cover him like he's my Kangaroo baby, E wants to find the kid who did this to his little by and put the fear of God into him. It’s a good thing for the other kids that E quickly discovered that this was just an accident—Henry just tripped over his own feet and caught his fall with his face. Not great for the teeth. Better for the other kids.

Every eye in that Chick Fil-A is on us by that point. There’s maybe 1.2 million kids in there because it’s free kid night, and I am sure I know at least 50 of the families. Okay, that might be hyperbole. Everyone’s being really nice, but I have a feeling that his screams are slightly disruptive to the tranquil dining experience that is Chick Fil-A on free kid meal night. I feel so bad. Everything is a blur, and we make our way to the parking lot. Poor Carter. He was so worried about Henry. I wedge myself in between kids in the back seat and I’m practically still holding Henry except that his butt is strapped in to his seat belt.

E and I are not sure what to do, and we don’t know if his lip is busted so bad he needs to see a doctor, or what. We drive home like that, me fighting back tears and Henry being a brave little man with a lot of blood coming from the new hole in his face. E was (shh!) on his cell phone on the way home, no bluetooth, calling the doctor. Two things about this: I am sure he was just waiting—WAITING—for some cop to pull him over in the middle of all that madness so he could unleash his inner Papa Bear on to the poor unsuspecting officer. I kept glancing out the window and saying silent prayers of thanks that there were no cops around. But the other thing was that our stupid Health Care makes you talk to the person before the nurse, and then the nurse, and everybody wants you to recite your contact information, phone number, cell number, blah, blah, blah, blah, blee, which is REALLY SUPER FREAKING AWESOME when your kid is losing it and you’re helpless to make it better.

So, we got through to someone which just resulted in them saying that we needed to call the dentist emergency number… so we did that, and Dr. Christie agreed to meet us ASAP at the office. Side note #2: Dr. Christie is awesome. I don’t just mean for Henry, she was great for us. We get home (gosh, this is getting pretty long, sorry…) and I basically hold Hank so tight he’s practically back in my womb. E tells him he can do whatever he wants to do until we go, and there’s a lot more crying and some pitiful attempts to drink water (he tried to bite on some ice… not good…) and we get him to down some Tylenol.

As a mom, there are times when I feel like the whole Tylenol thing is just a joke. I know it can bring down fevers, but I know that for myself, Tylenol is about as effective as blowing a dandelion into the wind when it comes to pain management. I give him the Tylenol, but in my head I’m like wow, this is going to make a huge difference. Luckily, Hank’s big on the placebo effects of medicine. He’s instantly convinced he feels a little better.

Next we have to do the babysitter scramble, which involves calling April (who NEVER—and I mean NEVER answers her phone) and Lis at the same time. April calls back (which is how it works—you call her, not leaving a message because she won’t listen to it, and then she calls you back. It’s a science, but we know the drill now so it's cool...) and Lis agrees to watch Roo so we decide during our simultaneous phone conversations that April will just come over because she’s close and we don’t know how long this will take.

So we go see Dr. Christie and Henry brings Green (the blankie) and Odie (puppy is STILL missing—don’t even get me started on that or I’m going to cry all over again) and he’s (Henry, not Odie) very brave. She takes some X-rays and he talks her ear off and he doesn’t cry or anything, even when she nudges the second tooth back into its downward-pointing position. (It had been knocked back toward the back of his mouth.) He was such a good boy.

The verdict? The one tooth is gone—we never found it so we’re convinced he ate it—and the root and everything came clean out. The other one is Wiggles McGee, so it’s probably coming out in the next few days or weeks. The dentist said his adult teeth were fine and he didn’t need stitches, so we headed back home and stopped for a Wendy’s Frosty for the poor kid. Yes, because again, I'm all about health.

I took this last night, and he was in a good mood post-Frosty… we had also been talking about the Tooth Fairy’s first visit, which ended up being a big deal for my little man this morning. Gosh.


He’s okay today, though he’s talking with a bit of a lisp because of the fat lip and his new “window,” as Ad’s teacher, Mrs. Pivonka would say. He’s more swollen than when I took the pic last night, but we’re happy it wasn’t worse. Poor bud.

What an adventure. At least he has a good story about how he lost his first tooth. Roo just lost hers in a hot dog at Costco.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Crazies. Yes, again.

It comes out of everything and nothing. Suddenly and gradually. I sense it happening and I try to ignore it. I know that the worst thing I can do is fight it, and I fight it every time.

Ah, The Crazies. (The Crazies = E's and my word for my anxiety.) My dull grey friend. My cold, controlling buddy. I should have seen it coming.

About Wednesday of last week I started a slow descent into exhaustion that generally precedes this kind of thing. I stayed too late at school one day for some meetings and spent the rest of the week catching sleep and catching up. I find that kind of disorienting disruption to the routine so annoying; the rest of my week becomes about that one day where I didn't do XYZ or the day when I did too much A rather than B. I spend the week trying to "fit things in" like exercise, relaxation, and sleep, and then ultimately I spend time lamenting the futility of not being able to cram in some more freaking serenity.

Rhino now! (Ad's version of "Serenity Now"? LOL)

I should have seen it coming. Of course I got sick. Of course I didn't eat right. Of course I didn't run. Blisters, stress, guilt over not doing enough grading for work, a cold, too many things to do, uncertainty about the new routine... I let them all take over and let things go that I know combat The Crazies. By Monday I found myself sick, in bed, and wide awake because my heart wouldn't stop racing. The best sleep I've had all week was Benadryl-induced in the hopes that I'd salvage the next day and accomplish something. Each time, I woke up groggy, cranky, and no more rested than if I'd just stayed up the extra hour.

I spent yesterday in bed trying to be tired when I really knew I was. By last night I was one big ball of crazy and making myself even more crazy over the fact that I couldn't have The Crazies because I had to get back to work tomorrow. Crazy.

This resulted in my being awake until 2:00 AM, and I think I only slept because E finally made me so mad (when he wouldn't "make me" all better. Yeah, I see the error there...he's a good guy for putting up with me...) that I took another Benadryl. Then he made me watch The Office so I'd laugh. I instantly hit a wall and slept like a rock.

Today I'm trying hard to release it. Not to fight it, because as we know that only makes things worse. I got to work early this morning and made a big list called "Crazies." No, I'm not joking. Every day I get to work and make my 'to do' checklist and today I made a Crazy list. I wrote down everything that was on my mind--every blasted thing that's been in my brain and fighting me for sleep and strength. It was a long list, a whole sheet of paper. Side note: binder paper just feels really good for some things. This was one of them. Instantly I felt a little better. At least it's on paper and not in me anymore. Nothing's solved, but at least it's not for me to worry on. For now.

My tendency, when it comes to stress and worry, is to feel like I have to worry, like I have to think on things or they won't get done or solved or fixed. This has no actual relationship with reality. There's no correlation between the worry ratio and whether or not something actually gets solved/brought to a close/amended/perfected. I think it gives me a pseudo sense of control over the uncontrollable. The problem with that is that it's an exercise in futility. There's no solution where I can worry myself into peace. I need to consider the lilies of the field. Darn it. Stinking LILIES!

Rhino now.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


My bed

quilted foam nest

I pause the edges dull

the marrow aches I tell myself

just wait

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Took this yesterday when I picked up Roo from school. Some toolshed decided it was a good idea to double park her van and then leave it there, trapping in two other cars. Let me tell you, people were really happy about that.

See? Nice.

Okay, I totally call hormonal shenanigans on my bad mood from the last week. I cried a total of three separate times last night: twice at E and once at the Green Mile. I am officially a sad mess. I'm calling off this bad mood. Today. Hopefully once I get enough energy to do so. :)

I feel just like Marms.

E's running some errands right now and then we're off to my cousin Kali's wedding. I better go find a babysitter. :^/

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday blahg

Is it bad if grapes have a metallic taste?

I'm thinking that it is. I never did really trust school lunches. Yep, I'm writing during class again, this time while my students read silently. They're actually doing that, which is amazing me. I have oodles to grade, but I'm setting myself up for a marathon day at Starbucks (Saturday?) to grade essays. I can't grade those here--they take too much concentration, and they're the kind of thing I need to grade all in one sitting, not a little at a time. Joy. I can't wait. No, really. I can't.

It's a busy weekend, but I have to say I'm not really looking forward to that. Since E's disappointing news, we have really withdrawn into our shell. That isn't' a bad thing, necessarily--I think that when life gets rough, we tend to narrow our circles and take care of the people closest to us. But I've had a really absentminded week; I've forgotten to return calls, forgotten what I was doing or what to bring with me when I go somewhere, and just generally felt a little disoriented. I like that when stressed, I tend to draw my focus in, but it just always leaves me a little skittish when I have to return to the real world. Unfortunately, I can't stay in my lil' fam cocoon forever.

I don't know--I'm not in a bad mood, just a weird mood. I feel like E's been home all week but we haven't really spent any time together. We're not really talking, which is never a good thing. You know what I mean--we're not giving each other the silent treatment or anything--we're just talking but it's all the stuff like "what's for dinner? "I don't know, what did you thaw out?" "Did Ad do her homework yet?" "What's your plan for the rest of the night?" and then we don't actually have a real conversation because by the time we could, we're both just too tired. I'm not really adjusted to his new work schedule or the fact that he's driving to Tahoe and back one day a week. I'm still nervous about him getting a paying job. Henry started preschool this week and neither one of us remembered to take a picture of the poor kid. Roo's been the same ol'-same ol', which means cheery and well-behaved, but even she is just a little on the tired side. I wore a HAT to work today for God's sake... just so I could sleep an extra half hour. I just feel kind of "off."

I'm blah. Welcome to my blah-g. Oh, that was terrible. I'm sorry. I didn't even write yesterday because I was so annoyed with myself and I wasn't going to resort to a third day of 'tired as heck, nothing interesting to say' blogging. So let me just get it all out in one big whine. I'm just bummed out about some things. No money = #1 still. Or not enough. Giant, infected blister that's still on the bottom of my foot? That's #2. Missing my friends at work because I have a different lunch period than almost everyone I want to see? That's a sad #3. I don't feel nearly as connected at work this year since my break's not with the same people that ordinarily break up the crazy with some funny. I don't know... I'm just spending too much time lately thinking about what I don't have and what other people do. April likes this quote and it's apt: "Comparison is the thief of joy." Word.

Enough negativity. I think I'm just tired. I have so many blessings to count that it's silly to whine away like this. I know the mood will pass in a few days. And on a serious and sad note, a close friend of mine lost her mother yesterday after a prolonged and difficult few months. My heart really goes out to her, and it's a good reminder that the bad days and the yuck days are nothing compared to the struggles some people are facing. I hope that you're all surrounded by people that you love this weekend, that you're comfortable and safe, and that you find some moment of joy in whatever you do.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Worcestershire sauce is not beer

Ask me how I know.

Yeek. So tired still! Geez. What the what is going on? I have some serious molasses in my groove right now. I just reached in the fridge for a cold brew with dinner and found myself mindlessly twisting the top of a Worcestershire sauce bottle, wondering why my "beer" had a plastic cap.

I ended up talking five hours straight at work today, and if I answer one more question about college applications or how to construct a paragraph, I'll probably blow chunks. Actually, it was a great day and a fun day but it was a really talky day so I'm just beat on top of beat from Back to School Night. And really, how much fun can you pretend you're having while you talk about topic sentences three times in a row? YAY THIS IS FUN! COMPLETE PARAGRAPHS ARE FOR THE COOL KIDS.

Tonight is the Night of the Glorious Tivo, and there's so much on that I am not joking when I say I have to run two Tivos in two rooms just to catch it all. I can't miss ma stories, y'all.

Two snaps up for E man for making dinner. If it was up to me I would have thrown a tub of peanut butter and a Mac N Cheese mix into the middle of the playroom and let them work it out like the wild animal kingdom. While I'm talking about food I might as well mention that we worked it out and Henry's going to preschool (wait for it, there's a connection) and suddenly there's a new rule about no peanuts or peanut butter or almond butter or basically what they're saying is they've eliminated one of the major food groups for preschoolers within three miles of preschool because some kid is allergic and might, like, not breathe.

Sigh. I was so annoyed.

And then I remembered we're "that family" too. GOD BLESS AMERICA.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

So tired.

Thirteen hour work day. It's just too much. Forgot my wallet. Sweated (sweat? I'm too tired to look up grammar.) out three gallons whilst talking to parents at Back to School Night. Mouth dry. Hands fidgety. Mouth umm-y. Back to School Night makes me feel like a total poser, by the way.

Haven't run yet this week, and it's killing me. I know tomorrow morning I'm going to be too exhausted to get up early and go tomorrow too. *sigh* Do you like that sentence? Can YOU TELL I'M TIRED! I'm leaving it. The crappy sentence and the exclamation point after tired. Deal with it.

I don't have much to say tonight. I'm feeling kind of lame. All I want to do is close this computer and go watch Fatties. (Fatties = The Biggest Loser. Best. Show. Ever. I say Fatties with love, ya know. This show is so inspiring. It makes me cry all the time. Oh, this show.) TBL totally inspired me to start running.

So, I bit into a piece of tri tip at lunch today and I hurt one of my teeth really bad. This was really awesome since I did the exact same thing to the same tooth last night. It still hurts. It's making me even more cranky. It wasn't bad enough that I opened the door of my classroom ACROSS THE TOP OF MY TOES yesterday too, taking three layers of skin off each one. If there's something within 20 feet that could injure me, I'm going to find it. I'm so freaking awesome.

I got free pizza at my meeting, though. That's something. And candy. Related note: I did not make my caloric goal for the day. Lameski.

I promise to be back tomorrow with 83% less lameness. 83% fewer lames.

When Hank's away, Roo will play.

What does Addie do when she has the playroom all to herself?

Okay, a box on top of the couch, a small pitcher, and a red bowl upside down on the floor. So what?

The box? It's her "sewing machine."

The bowl? It's the foot pedal.

The pitcher? It's the iron to press the fabric.


Mimi's going to just die from cute overload.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ten things to smile about today:

  1. I ran EIGHT MILES yesterday, y'all! (I am not sore today either!)
  2. E had his first day at work as a legal intern.
  3. I'm excited to go home to a clean house this afternoon. So glad I made myself do it last night so tonight I can veg.
  4. I'm picking up Miss Roo from school in an hour and I'm going to take her to get froyo.
  5. It only took me 20 minutes to get myself and Roo out the door this morning. Planning ahead is awesome.
  6. Diet Dr. Pepper is tasty. It doesn't count, either. No calories equals not real.
  7. I am so lucky to have a classroom all to myself, especially when it comes to my lunch break.
  8. Marms the cat is still alive, still hangin' in there.
  9. The Biggest Loser starts again tomorrow!
  10. I can't wait until E and Buddy Bear get home.

School Days: Day 11 (Writing)

I'm participating in Travelin' Oma's School Days, a daily online free study course. Join me!

Oma's assignment today:

Written Work: List ten things that get in the way of your writing. Go back and write a sentence about how to deal with each issue. Now, use your ten sentences to write a mission statement called "I'm Going to Write, and Here's How."

Things keeping me from writing:

1. Fatigue
2. Kid interruptions
3. Fear of failure
4. Lack of skills
5. Lack of professional know-how
6. Lack of ideas
7. Lack of focus
8. Fear my voice/story isn't significant or unique enough
9. Feeling that it's already been done
10. Lack of referential references

I'm going to write. Here's how.

I will write when I am at my best and when an idea excites me. I will take time with my kids and I will try to plan writing time around their schedules. I will celebrate my failures as learning experiences. I will hone my craft beyond basic high school teacher English. I will stash things that interest me and inspire me. I will start to write down concrete book ideas. I will own my voice and accept its validity. I will write even if I think it's been done before. I will read and read and read.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A quick recap of EIGHT

Quickie update on my (first) eight miler this morning:


I feel great! Probably one of the best runs I've had to date. OMG you guys, it was just... fun. :) I'm so happy right now. I was nervous to go that far (I always get butterflies when I hit a new milestone) but I have to say I felt better on my long run today than on any of the "short" ones this week. I think that comes from running today in 60 degree weather, as opposed to the 95 degree weather I got caught in twice this week.

Before I left, I ate an almond butter and strawberry jam sandwich with a big glass of water. I made sure I had time to digest, then hit the road. I brought another AB&J with me. I could tell from the time I left that I was just having "one of those days" (in a good way) and it was going to be a great one. It's really nice out right now, and it really felt like Fall. Not too many cars out when I started, which I like, because then I am not thinking I'm going to see someone driving by and yelling "PDAWG?!?!" out their window. Related note: the dancer in me can't stand to let any "audience" down. If I see cars when I'm taking a walk break, I feel like I'm violating some ballerina stage rule, like letting the audience hear you grunt when something is difficult. So fewer cars= less pressure.

Anyhoo, it was a good run. I ran past the junior high (my turning back point for a 4 miler) and the high school where I teach. I also ran through the park for a bit which was really pretty. Lots of other runners out this morning, too. It made me wish we lived closer to the park. Maybe I'll start driving over there to run. It's so beautiful. I ran through the park and just past the old Harley dealership, then headed back.

This is turning out to be not so short, isn't it? Anyway, I stopped in the park for a bathroom break and at the high school to refill my water bottles because I tried three water fountains in the park and they were all broken. I felt great all the way back, too. I ate a small piece of AB&J at about mile 5, but I wasn't really feeling like I needed a lot to keep going. Even with those breaks, I managed to keep an average pace of 11:31 per mile. For me, that's awesome. It's so funny how I always run with the GPS telling me my pace in my ear, and then when I decide to just turn it off and go, I'm faster on my own. Who cares. I'm so proud of me. RUNNER'S HIGH!

Okay, time to go hit the shower. I'm exhausted!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


The baby's down for the night, I just pulled a batch of chocolate chip cookies out of the oven, the E man is playing an old Final Fantasy on the PS3, and the monkeys are currently upside down on the couch in the playroom.

Wait... the baby? Yeah, we're watching Ty, my one year old nephew for the night. He kind of reminds me of all the things I'm glad we don't have to worry about anymore like diapers, crying, choking hazards, crying and crying... and he is also so sweet and chubby that I want to squeeze him and then have fourteen more of my own. Too bad it all comes wrapped up together. Nature's paradox.

My walk this morning was pretty terrible, as I mentioned earlier. It would have been better if I hadn't made the decision to walk for 30 minutes in one direction so I could do 30 back. Normally I loop and I would have at least stopped off for a jacket. I was so cold. Anyway, I'm trying to get psyched up for tomorrow for my first 8 miler. That seems like a lot, even though seven didn't seem like much more than five. I'll be working from the same "run in one direction for four miles then follow the same path back" plan. Hope there aren't any showers in store. I better check.

Today on my walk I listened to a new podcast. I downloaded it as a backup in case I ran out of Adam Corrolla podcasts (which today, I did). It's called grammar girl and it's great. I had to smile to myself though at the aptness of the English teacher doing her big walk and learning about grammar today. NERD ALERT. I liked it, and it's another free podcast on iTunes. Good stuff.

Since this post is kind of a catch-all, some more random stuff for ya... I started reading The Lovely Bones the other day. Well, re-reading. I know I started listening to it or reading it or something a few years ago, but I never finished it. When I was at the movies a few weeks ago watching yet another movie based on a book I didn't finish, The Time Traveler's Wife, there was a preview for The Lovely Bones. I figured I better man up and finish one of these. Note about The Time Traveler's Wife--my complaint about it BOTH times I tried to read it was that there wasn't anything to connect all the dots together. It seemed like too much traveling without any rhyme or reason, and there seemed to be little importance for how and when. It was just enough of a connection to warrant explanation, which as far as I read, never came. From the movie I got the information I was desiring, but it didn't come until almost the final scene. Maybe I'll give the book another shot. I liked the movie, and that statement has absolutely nothing to do with the frequency of shots Eric Bana's hiney. *wink* But for now, TLB.

Yesterday brought some good news. E got an internship at a small firm in Lake Tahoe. It's unpaid, but we couldn't be happier. It's been tough for him since he took the Bar in July. First that was so stressful, then he's had a hard time finding an in-between job. He had his heart set on a non-legal career, and the door closed on that completely a few weeks ago. Now he's back to law and trying to find something about it that works for him. He needed this good news. I'm so happy for him, even if it's going to be quite a commute. He's going to be building experience and hopefully some strong references while he waits for his Bar results.

He and I went out last night to a little wing place right by our house. I've been eyeing it for a while because it looks busy--it has a little bar and an outside patio that have been pretty packed for a while--so last night we gave it a try. Um, YUM. Good stuff. We had a nice night out on the patio talking about the internship and just catching up. I love when we get the chance to have a nice, relaxed dinner like that. Always reminds me that he's my best friend and I'm so lucky to have him around. Always makes me thankful that we came to our senses and decided we couldn't not be together and we needed to work it out.

After dinner we got back on the bike--oh yeah, forgot to mention that we took the Harley--and just went for a little ride around town. The weather was perfect last night. I think it was in the high 80s and we had the best ride. E was being kind to me since I've been a little nervous about freeways since our ride in San Diego. We rode through town and down the frontage roads. I love riding in town at night. I always squint at the lights like it's Christmas and blur them all together. I love riding with E. I can tell he's so happy too--I think he craves time out on the bike the same way I crave a good run lately. I know it clears his head. It's just nice to be together.

We're coming up on my half marathon pretty quickly, here. Big day tomorrow. I'm going to try some PB&J's (rather than that disgusting Gu) and we shall see how it goes. I tried jelly beans this week and that wasn't bad--but I learned not to unzip the pouch while running, because they all bounced out. If you see some jelly beans on the sidewalk, they're totally not mine.

Another thing I need to add back in this week is the strength training and stretching. When I stopped running because of my ankle, I dropped that like a rock. I haven't exactly picked it back up again, either. My tummy is not looking so hot. I can tell I'd feel better--stronger--if I was doing all that again too. Making a commitment to do it this week.

Okay, Blog. That's plenty for tonight. Time to go sample a cookie and make sure I have clean socks for tomorrow.

Peace out.