Wednesday, October 12, 2011

October is...

I got the following e-mail today...
And the following are my thoughts.

October 2011 is...

Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month -
I already have 3. The city will shut me down if I bring in more.
Celebrating the Bilingual Child Month I do every day Monday- Friday in my classroom
Celiac Disease Awareness Month I am aware that I am glad I don't have that!
Dyslexia Awareness Month M3 gl4b I bon't hav3 th4t 3ither.
Eat Better, Eat Together Month Which is it? Eat better, or eat together? When I eat with other people I eat real food with calories.
Emotional Wellness Month Shouldn't every month be emotional wellness?
Global Diversity Awareness Month
I believe every month already is Global Diversity month
Halloween Safety Month
This would be better suited in the month of June...
Health Literacy Month What? Is it health or reading? How are they related?
National Animal Safety and Protection Month
Also, "take your dog hunting with your big ol' firearm" month
National Book Month
Where is this national book? I'd like to read it.
National Crime Prevention Month Well Duh- it's Halloween. Nothing good has ever come from Halloween!!
National Cyber Security Awareness Month
Wouldn't that be covered under the Crime Prevention?
National Go On A Field Trip Month We went on two last week!!
National Reading Group Month
I do those daily. When will it be "kids read more than Mrs. Fairfield reads FOR me month"?
National Stamp Collecting Month
Why are we collecting stamps? Is there going to be a shortage?
Raptor Month I hate raptors. And snakes. And clowns and mascots.
Vegetarian Month I can still eat cheese right?
International Day of Older Persons
My students think I am an "older person"
Great Books Week Every week SHOULD be great books week
Mental Illness Awareness Week For me every week IS Mental Illness Awareness week
Mystery Series Week What's the Mystery?
National Carry a Tune Week
I try to sing to my students to get them to stop talking. They just talk over me.
No Salt Week
That's just crazy talk!
Child Health Day Must be because kids are always sick in October.
Ten Four Day
I bet that day is on 10/4. Hee hee. Tomorrow I am going to answer everyone with 10-4. "What's for lunch?" "10-4"
UN World Teacher's Day
What's an un-world? I think I know a few un-teachers.
World Smile Day I specifically remember smiling three days ago day.
Kids' Goal Setting Week
Goal- learn more and work harder at my learning than my teacher works at my learning.
National Chestnut Week Really?? They get a week?
National Metric Week I loathe the Metric system. Actually I loath teaching it and believe it is a waste of time to teach third graders. Especially when they go to lunch at "10:75"
National School Lunch Week At 10:75
Columbus Day Observed
If a guy who got totally lost, never admited it and died believing he was right got a special day named after him- then I should have at least 5 days named after me.
National Face Your Fears Day I do daily- it's called "getting up in the morning"
National Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work Day But can I bring 2? Can I bring one bigger than my desk? Can I bring one that hides my flask? The first two questions would come from my class, the last one would be from me.
Food and Drug Interaction and Awareness Week THANK GOD food doesn't effect my drugs...
Freedom From Bullies Week Ha ha! Like the bullies would take a week off.
Getting the World to Beat a Path to Your Door Week
I want people to stay away from my door. Especially those naughty little boys who just moved into the neighborhood.
Kids Care Week Kids care for one week. The other 51, they don't give a rip.
National Character Counts Week Ditto from above
National School Bus Safety Week I don't think the drivers got that memo, as I watched a school bus driver in Moorhead throw his cigarette out the window this morning on my way to work.
Evaluate Your Life Day I will do that on Saturday. Or Monday.
Cranky Coworkers Day
My co-workers probably think this is every day with me.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Where Did My Memory Go?

I feel like I'm losing my memory. I see people I know I know, but can't recall their name or how I know them. I think of people I graduated with and can't think of their last names, so then I play the ABC game. I know it starts with a D and has two syllables... Fredrickson! That's it!!! I called my best friend from High School the other day to ask the last name of a girl we were really good friends with- turns out the girl shared my maiden name. "Oh yeah..." was all I thought. I feel like some day I'm going to go to the mall, some lady I don't recognize will come up to me with arms outstretched for a hug, I won't recognize her and then suddenly realize it's my sister and the reason I went to the mall was to meet her there. I tack it all up to stress, but I'm not stressed. I can remember every word to every Michael Jackson, Bon Jovi, and Poison song from High School, but what the hell is my phone number?? I can remember my best friend's address growing up, but can't remember my dad's address he's had for the last 20 years. I wonder if my mind is so full of crap I don't need (thanks a lot Mr. Holm my High School Social Studies teacher) that I don't have room for new stuff. But names of people I should know isn't actually new stuff. I am having a class reunion this summer, so for fun I was looking at my senior album. I don't remember half of the people who wrote something in it. I read the names of seniors and I'd swear they weren't in my class- which is sad, because we only had 58 people in our graduating class. Yet, I can remember detailed conversations I had with my 8th grade "boyfriend" on the phone. I remember my 5th birthday, but can't tell you a thing about my last birthday other than my students didn't remember even though we had a count down for weeks while it was coming up. I remember the box-elder bugs on the wall next to me while I took my SATs, but have no clue how I did on them. Apparently it was well enough to get into college. I still remember my college ID number- 911697, but have to look up the word "college" every time I write it. I can't remember titles of movies- or the actor's names that are in them. I describe them as, "You know that movie. The one. With the guy. That one guy? His name is a four letter name... And that girl. The girl with the hair... You know right??" Maybe it's early old age? Maybe early onset of Alzheimer's? I remember my first kiss, and the conversation leading up to it. Yet I can't remember the conversation I had with my Gynecologist last week. Maybe beer is killing my memory. I remember the "cookie" play we put on in first grade- and my lines- "MMMM Chocolate Chip!" yet I forget daily that the on-ramp to the interstate by my house is closed, and has been for the past 6 months. Maybe it's lack of sleep, or vitamins. I should take some vitamins. If I could only remember where I put them...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Yellowstone Continued

Mule Deer
Black Bears!
Mommy and Baby Moose

We drove around and saw a bear about 100 yards away, a deer in the ditch, a cow moose with her baby (see photo) about 20 yards away, (right by our resort) two mule deer(photo), elk, and a buffalo walking along the road right by our car!! But the most exciting thing of them all... BEARS up close and personal!! See Photo!! That was so super exciting. Yesterday we went whitewater rafting. You can see the photos at then go to Mad River, then 2011, then July, then 26, then 4:30. All of those are our group. Ethan is front row center. It was fun. I was worried One of the kids or I was going to fall in the river, but we didn't. The guide said the chances of falling in or tipping is 50/50 and I panicked and wanted to back out. No one fell from our raft, but they did from the raft in front of us. It's been a lot of fun so far. I don't think I'm a "wild west outdoorsy" gal, but it's nice to vacation and visit. People here don't drive after dark and think you are nuts- two ladies told us so, if you do because there are so many moose, buffalo, elk, etc... on the road. Crazy!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

3 Things I Know

I am quite sure of three things...
1) I can not live anywhere other than Fargo/Moorhead. Every time I go on vacation I realize people are generally rude. They cut in line, won't wait their turn, act entitled and generally do not follow the rules. It drives me crazy when people don't follow the rules. That's the teacher in me. It used to be really hard to refrain from correcting other people's children in public, now it's hard not to correct adults' behavior in public.
2) I am not an experienced hiker enough to hike a 2 1/2 mile "difficult" trail up a mountain. All the other people had a stick and I thought it was to fight off ninja snakes, turns out nope. It was to help you walk. I know I was suppose to look at the scenery and wildlife. All I looked at was my foot and the next non-loose rock I could step on (oh and I looked for snakes).
3) McDonald's must sprinkle cocaine on their fries, because I am addicted to them.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Our Trip to Yellowstone Begins!!

I can always tell my subconscious is getting ready for the school year at this time of the summer (even though I avoid the “back to school aisles” like the plague because I start having “school dreams”. I’ve had three in the past week. In one a gun accidently went off in my classroom, and I spent the rest of the time trying to figure out how to keep my job. The next one was about me having to teach Kindergarten again as a punishment (for what I don’t know), I had 46 students and I couldn’t pronounce many of their names. The third one I had to choose one teacher from each grade level to have to teach the rest of the year outside. With no walls, ceiling or floor. In North Dakota. That assignment was also a punishment. Usually my back to school dreams consist of something exciting like having a favorite student back, or opening up a cupboard to find shiny new supplies or curriculum aides. This year however, it’s all about me being punished, but I don’t know what for. I wish I knew what these dreams all meant. If I only knew a dream interpreter. I wonder if that’s a real job. If it is I SO want to be a dream analyzer when I grow up!! That and I’ll be a pet psychic on the side.
We are on our way to Yellowstone in Wyoming. We drove by Fairfield, ND and got our pictures taken. We also went to a dinosaur museum that had actual dinosaurs dug up from only 5 miles away in Montana! Now I know why they all say Montana is much more exciting than North Dakota, it’s the increased chance of finding a dinosaur. We’ve driven through many towns. A lot of towns in Montana like to put a letter on the mountain in the town. For example, Forsyth has an F, and if you look close it looks like an F-. Custer has a C. I really think God put the letters on the mountains giving that town a letter grade. Ethan says the C for Custer stands for cruddy.
Do you ever count to three and then start something, as in a do-over or starting NOW kind of thing? I’ve been doing that a lot lately. I’ll catch myself chewing on my thumbnail, whip my hand down and say in my head, “1- 2- 3- go!” Then BOOM, I am no longer a nail biter. Well, until I catch myself doing it again, then I’ll count all over. I’ve done it with my plan to only eat vegetables, fruits and grains but then I forget and eat a hamburger. All I have to do is say “1- 2- 3- go!” I’m a vegetarian again! I also do it with not drinking beer. I started that one on Thursday afternoon and I haven’t fallen off that wagon yet. Partly because I have a raging urinary tract infection and no hope of seeing a doctor until Monday, and that’s a big maybe, so I’m drinking nothing because it’ll make me want to pee more than I already do. See one out of three of my 1- 2- 3 plans are working. Not bad huh?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I Think I Might Be Going Bald

I hate my hair. It's flat, a weird non-color, limp, fine, thin and wants to all be in front of my face all of the time. I blow dry it AWAY from my face and it still all falls forward toward my face. I feel like that girl from the ring with her hair covering her face. I went to get it cut, told my lady "I hate my hair. Do anything different". I really don't think she even cut it. I think she just played with it. I looked the exact same and she charges me 28.00. I think the crown of my head is losing hair, making me look like a pin head with fluffy sides. I love my dog Abby and I think she is beautiful, but I don't want to look like her.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Hangin' With The Old Folks

Last night I was my brother's "date" for his class reunion. I had all week to prepare and the question I kept asking myself was "what's weirder that being your brother's date for a grown-up milestone?" The only thing I came up with was going to prom with your cousin, and thankfully I did not do that, although it's not because I wasn't asked, but that's a whole other blog... Anyway all week I told people I was going to hang with the old folks in Barnesville on Friday, feeling a bit guilty because I knew I'd probably chicken out. Well, my brother, Paul, came home on Thursday. We went to the town drinking establishment and after tossing back a few, he asked the dreaded question again, "You're coming to the reunion tomorrow night right?" I knew Scott and Noah would be out of town for a baseball tournament, and Ethan would have to spend the night somewhere which I hadn't arranged yet and it's the day before the reunion, but I DID have those few drinks so I said and enthusiastic, "YOU BET I WILL!!! There'll be more beer there, right?" Flash forward twenty hours and I'm dropping Ethan off at Grandma Carol's to spend the night, and wondering what to wear as my brother's date. It really wouldn't matter what I chose to wear, I could have wore a tie-dyed tent Mumu, or a Hawaiian strapless sundress with elastic wrapped around the top, but then I would have been wearing a matching outfit with some of the party goers and that would be embarrassing. Probably not just the "oh I'm wearing the same thing" embarrassing. But the "I'm stuck in hippie land or I must dress like a little girl from 1983." I figured out what to wear and asked my brother how I looked. He said a fake "fan-tastic" which I KNEW he didn't mean, figured I won't know anyone so who do I have to impress? As we drove to Barnesville I got that same feeling like I needed to throw up or jump out of the moving car that I got LAST summer driving in his car to go to dad's big party in Barnesville. Huh... I wonder why that is? Is it driving in Paul's car? Is it his driving? Is it going to Barnesville? Is it going to a social function where I know I'll have no one to talk to? Who knows? Anyway, I was pretty sure the Legion, which is one of Barnesville's 5 bars, was on Main Street- the only "busy" street with businesses. Well, it turns out Main Street was closed, which is kinda dumb since the fair was in town, but whatever... Anyway, we had to detour down a side street and there it was! Go figure!! I didn't know where one of the bars in Barnesville (population 2,000) was. No one would have made THAT prediction. We had to circle the block to find a spot since the parking lot was packed, this made me want to throw up worse and think, 'he's slowing down, I could jump out now...' He finally found a spot, and I pretended I forgot how to open the car door just to buy time- which is kind-of funny since we drive identical (make and model) cars. We walked in and a HUGE sign was hung up saying WELCOME HOME TROOPS!! Which made me chuckle since the troops came home a year ago last May. There was no reunion sign, so I thought maybe we're at the wrong bar. I looked around, saw all of the pushing 50 crowd and thought 'nope. We're here.' Right away I saw my cousin and his wife, Larry and Shelly, and I practically pushed people over to get to them so I'd have someone to talk to and not look like a dork. Shelly was in a group next to three other women and one gave me a snotty look, whispered something to Shelly and Shelly said, "Oh it's Sara, Paul's sister." The snotty woman walked away. That's very typical small town Barnesville and why I get sick to my stomach going there. I talked to Shelly until her other friend left, and then I thought maybe I'm being a pest, so I wandered around to find Paul. The Legion is like any small town bar and not very big so it shouldn't have been a problem. I thought I gotta find the guy standing with a beer. That narrowed it down to 50% of the people there- the other 50% were women. I finally found him, and joined his circle. All of the guys in the circle are staring at me and I know they are thinking, "Paul's wife has a lot of similar facial features..." Their conversation goes on for what seemed like an hour until someone asked what my name was. I said, "I'm Paul's little sister"
Man-"Do you have a name?"
"Yep, Sara."
2nd man- "I don't remember you..."
"I'm 10 years younger. I was in second grade when you graduated."
All the people in the circle- "You are just a baby!!"
So all night I was known as the "young one", was often called a "baby", and told I was so young still. That was great! In the last three weeks two people slipped and called me "old-oops. Sorry MATURE", and "middle aged". The reunion world was so weird. Everyone was walking around saying, "Who are you?" "Who are you?" All I kept thinking was, when I'm old in 10 years will I lose my memory too? Will I have to ask everyone who they are? And in 10 MORE years will Paul's class be walking around asking each other "Who am I?" Who am I?"- Because a few people did that- especially the lady in the tie-dyed tent and her husband wearing the matching t-shirt. I think maybe the tie-dye ruined their memory and that was why they didn't know who they were. A little later another cousin stopped in and we had a beer and he confirmed that yes, my dad does still love me but his wretched wife won't let him show it. By 9:00, I wore out my welcome with the three people I knew and was ready to GO. Paul ordered another $4.00 beer (yet ANOTHER reason the first time at the Legion will be my last time as well), and went to talk to the tie-dyed people as I muttered something about, "you made me come here, now you entertain me..." Paul asked me in front of tie-dyed man if I knew him. Well, no Paul, this guy keeps asking people "who am I?" I don't think he even knows who he is... Mr. Tie-dye told me I looked like an angel so I must be one, and I told him he is correct!! Anyway, it turns out he not only rode my bus, but let me sit in the back with the "cool kids"!! He told me I'd walk to the back of the bus in kindergarten withmy pigtails like I owned the place, and he had to let me sit back there or my cousins would beat him up since the only kids on the bus were my cousins and his family. I found out Mrs. Tie-dyed was Mr. Ness'-one of my favorite teachers- daughter and her brother was the guy walking around with the blue button shirt unbuttoned. Not to be mixed-up with the "hottest guy in the grade" who walked around with his white button shirt unbuttoned. When I realized these were Mr. Ness’ kids I was a little sad for him. I bet it sucks to have your kids not really turn out so good. I also wondered what is it about Barnesville and guys taking their shirts off at the bar? I swear it's 50-50 when I go to a Barnesville bar some guy will end up walking around with his shirt off hanging it around his neck, or unbuttoned. Later I was hit-on by a drunk who kept yelling "sweetie" and "baby" at me with his tongue hanging out like it was sexy or something. I can't decide which was more of a turn-on, when he fell off his bar stool or the tongue thing. I found out that guy was my favorite teacher's kid! What's with that? Teacher's kids are suppose to grow up to be engineers, doctors, lawyers, President, kings and queens; not falling off their bar stool, losing their shirts, or wearing tie-dye in public. I also found out I wasn't the only sister that came as their brother's date. A lady who is four years ahead of me came with her brother. She said it's the only time she could spend time with him (even though they both still live in Barnesville), so we had something in common- and I found out being your brother's date isn't creepy at all. Toward the end of the night I talked to Paul's good friends from high school and that was nice. I also found the excitement of the class reunion contagious, therefore I'm seriously reconsidering my decision to skip mine in August. If I do go, I should SO make my brother be my date. Oh! I also realized 50 isn't THAT old. Hey if 30 is the new 20, 50 must be the new 40...
Stay tuned for my next post; "I think I'm going bald"

Friday, July 1, 2011

My Little Buddy

Ethan has become my little shadow this summer. With Noah and Scott always being gone, Ethan and I are left to fend for ourselves. Noah's always at friends' houses, and well Ethan's friends are at daycare. One day I asked him if it bothered him he can't go to his friends' and he assured me, "No mom. I like hanging out with you at home better anyway." That's what we've been doing. Most days start out with us cuddling on the couch watching Phineas and Ferb, having "contests" on my i-pod, eating lunch, then the kids going to basketball camp, Noah going to a friends' house and Ethan and I going in the pool or laying around. Then it's Ethan and I eating supper, going to Noah's games and ending the day with both of us reading in my bed- sometimes he even falls asleep before I do. I cherish every minute. You never know if he'll be too "cool" for mom next summer. This summer he prefers to be with me as I am "his best friend". Since I am spending so much time with him and have a lack of a social life, I'd have to agree with him. So... On to that topic. Ethan's super great, but sometimes you just miss other adults. What is with my non-social life? I've been feeling a little sorry for myself lately, "everyone else has fun plans for the weekend/afternoon/summer...." Why don't I? I think I'm wonderfully fun to be around, yet no one agrees with me- except Ethan... and the dogs. However, I'm thinking of telling the dogs their suspicions are right- they ARE adopted, and then they might not want to hang out with me either. I also feel like the ONLY person in the Fargo-Moorhead area who does not have a lake, or friends' lake place to go to for the fourth of July.

I guess on the fourth, Ethan and I will be floating around in the pool telling each other what we like best about the other one- the same way we celebrated flag day.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cholesterol Check

Today I went to the Doctor to get my cholesterol checked. I knew I had to get it checked since June 6. At first I planned to go one week without beer, cheese, or red meat. I had only 30 days to get the test done, so I changed my "rule" to 5 days without beer or cheese. Then it was three days without beer. The end of the month is coming fast, so I decided, I can't be hung over or have had cheese the night before. So today was the day! Although I did have cheesy potatoes last night for supper. I don't know why I have to get it checked. I had it checked two years ago when we decided to buy life insurance. My cholesterol, height, weight, antibodies, hair length, favorite color, and shoe size were all within the "normal" range. The insurance company wanted $250 a month to insure me, even though I am relatively young, a non-smoker and "normal". And $150 a month for Scott who was in the "high weight and cholesterol" bracket. He was "accepted". However when they got my medical records I was denied because I, and many of the female relatives that came before me use(d) bitch-be-gone pills. Apparently that makes me "high-risk". Really? Because I'd say not being on them makes Scott a"high-risk". Needless to say, we decided to put that money in an account rather than insurance. I was told "if you go off the medication, we'd be happy to insure you..." Every few months the salesman calls me to ask if I'm still on my beloved bitch-be-gone pills. The last time he called I said, "Did I answer the phone pleasantly?" He said, "Yes." Then I said, "If I was off them I'd answer the phone like this; What do you want you money grubbing a$$hole? Oh I know! You want $400 a month to insure us. Well, if I ever sober up, or if Scott doesn't quit his damn snoring we will definatly need and use that insurance, so sign me up my friend!" He hasn't called since January.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

My Missing Child

I'm pretty sure I have an eleven-year-old. I remember having him the past eleven years, however, I barely see him. I see remnants that tell me he has been here, such as the trail of dirty socks and wrappers from the kitchen to his room. Seriously. What's will the socks. As soon as Noah makes a rare appearance, the socks come off and drop where he stands. I rarely see him. He and his father seem to believe he absolutely must be at a practice, a game, an organized scrimmage, staying at some kids house or having kids stay here 24-7. What ever happened to "I'm bored" during summer? Why does an 11-year-old need to have a social calendar that leaves literally 1 DAY free the whole summer? It has been a very hot button topic at my house lately. From the time everyone wakes up until they go to bed it is sports. sports, sports. All three eat (we had to sell 20 tickets for a Texas Road House Lunch), breathe (at baseball) and live sports. No one talks about anything else. The only thing on TV at my house is ESPN or some sports game. It doesn't matter if I'm watching Little House on the Prairie, the channel gets changed as soon as someone else walks in the room. I feel like I don't fit in, or belong in this family. I belong in a family that hates sports (except basketball and the Superbowl commercials and snacks). I like basketball, but not enough to watch it on TV or DVR it. I like it enough to watch it live if I know someone playing. Other than that, nothin'. I'm beyond sick of it. So I wonder, how is it that I am all alone in a house with two boys and three dogs- and the one missing kid?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Noah's 5th Grade Graduation

Noah and the principal Mr. Kopperud.

Noah and his friends. Most are kids he's been friends with since Kindergarten, pre-school, or first grade.

Today was Noah's 5th Grade Graduation. As I was waiting for it to start, I suddenly remembered the last day of Kindergarten and him racing out to the car waving his report card yelling, "It says Grade One!! I passed! I passed!!" I remembered the day before Scott and I went to Hawaii and I was suppose to eat lunch with Noah, but I got the time mixed up and got there late. Mrs. Anderson showed us a room we could use to eat our McDonald's and Noah's second lunch for the day. I remembered in second grade when Max was a baby and he brought Max and his four-year-old brother for show and tell. I remembered in fourth grade when he realized he is really smart.

The first awards they gave out was for art and I was sure Noah wouldn't get one. He hates art, isn't good at it, and actually it's really hard to read his handwriting. Noah's name was the first one called. The principal gave his speech next. He mentioned how he looked at the yearbook when these kids were in kindergarten and how one kid had a great flat-top, one girl had a wonderful smile, and how he and Noah would have snack in his office every Monday to talk about the Vikings game and Noah usually knew more about it than he did. He told us later that whenever he watches the Vikings, he thinks of Noah. Little does he know, during that year and in first grade Noah had a one hour limit of "football talk" at home.

I thought of the day I took Noah to his pre-school screening when he turned five to make sure he was ready for school. The teacher asked if I had concerns and I told her I was worried he wouldn't make friends. Noah was always very picky about his friends, and there were not a lot of kids his age in the neighborhood. He'd likely know no one when school started. She told me he's cute, friendly and smart and he'll have plenty of friends. When the principal announced Noah's name to come up to get his graduation certificate and metal, the whole grade whooped and hollered. I got tears in my eyes. They like him, they really do.

When it was all done a lady who works with a special needs student in Noah's class sought me out and told me Noah is kind, caring, respectful and smart. He is everything you'd want in a kid. She said I did a good job raising him. I thanked her, and thought to say, 'he was born that way, it has very little to do with me,' but I said nothing and thought to myself, "I should have had more kids. That's one thing I do well."

Now he's playing basketball in the driveway with his BFF, the same kid he met on the first day of Kindergarten and I told Noah to sit by him because he looked like he'd be nice. He's also hoping baseball is canceled so he can play longer. I'm watching him wondering where that little boy went. How did he grow up so fast?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Abby's Morning Run and PMS

Ethan has a friend who comes over and rings the doorbell constantly until someone answers. It's ding-dong, ding-dong, ding-dong... This morning at 7:30 the doorbell started ringing. We were all still in bed. I laid there and thought, "I'm going to punch that kid..." Thinking it was "Fred" I opened the door with my teacher look on my face. It wasn't Fred, it was an older guy with his wife walking their dog. He told us "Your little brown dog just ran away." I'm not sure, but I think I said something like "S**t! Damn it! She's not wearing her collar! Sh-iiiit!!" Charming. I know.We all ran and got dressed. The older couple was talking to another older couple with their dog. They pointed us in the direction of where Abby went. Scott went on foot, Ethan went one way around the block while Noah went the other on their bikes, and I started driving around. Noah found her. Apparently he bent down and yelled for her. She acted like she was running to him, but ran right by. He chased after her and caught her as I drove around the corner. She was caked with mud from head to tail. I'm not sure how the people knew she was brown, because she looked black to me. I gave her a bath and she told me if we didn't start taking her for more walks she'd start taking herself. Apparently Scott let her out at about two in the morning and forgot to let her back in. She had five hours to dig for freedom. Thank goodness those people were outside and saw her escape. We wouldn't have known until she was long gone.
PMS- I'm pretty sure I've never had PMS. Sure I get waterlogged and my boobs hurt, but it never effected my mood before. I'm really noticing 1)Now that I'm not trying to get pregnant, my body is like clockwork- unlike when I was trying to get pregnant. 2)In the last three months I get VERRY crabby, irritable, and just plain bitchy at the end of the month. I've been known to say things like,"Every Damn-day doesn't have to be a party!" and "I don't know how more people aren't smothered to death by their spouses because they won't stop snoring." I can barely stand myself. After my period, I am much more tolerable, even happy in fact. I don't understand how this symtom can crop up all of a sudden. That led me to looking it up on the Internet- where you should get all of your free medical advice. It turns out that I am either A) Simply a crab, or more likely B) suffering from PMS-As in Pre Menopause Syndrome. WHAT?? I'm 28. How can I be close to Pre-Menopause? It turns out Pre-Menopause can last for 15 years, so I guess that means 180 more end-of-the month crabbiness. Huh. Who knew??

Sunday, May 29, 2011

My Shopping Adventure

Yesterday I went shopping. I wasted a ton of time just looking at baby clothes- have your baby already Julie so I know if I dare buy newborn or if I need 3 months, I need to know if he'll be over 12 pounds. I also looked at clothes for the boys, clothes for me and sandals. My mission was to buy shorts for the boys. Ethan will only wear shorts that come exactly to his knees and it must have a string to tie at the waist because he is deathly afraid of "losing his pants". He is pickier than a girl. Noah wears whatever I through at him, but not Ethan. He wants his pants too short, and his shorts too long and forget about jeans unless they have a drawstring. His socks have to cover his knees- so actually wearing shorts is kind-of lost on him. His shirts have to cover his hips and have words on them. The shirts can not have any kind of pink or purple anywhere, or a tag. Wow. You'd think, Noah, who's going into middle school would be this picky, but nope. He still tries to wear a dressy shirt with running pants. He's even tried to wear my orange/peach sweatshirt to school until I told him, "That's mine!" Anyway, I found four pairs of shorts for Noah for 20.00 total and couldn't find any that would fit Ethan's qualifications. I went to Scheels and found a pair for Ethan for 30.00! I've never spend that much on "play wear" that they will wear for less than 3 months of the year, but I was desperate. I felt bad for Noah, since I didn't get him "fancy shorts" so I got him some Moorhead Spuds shorts that he hasn't taken off since I got them home yesterday. When I was sandal shopping I saw the ugliest sandals you could imagine. It looked like the sole of a flip-flop with a bunch of elaborate strings attached to it that you are suppose to loop and entwine your foot through to get on. It reminded me of the time my wooden clogs broke in second grade and I tried to use yarn to tie the clogs to my foot so I could still wear them and be "cool". Seriously, who came up with the idea of wooden clogs? "I know what's really comfortable and good for your feet- a wedge of wood! We will put one narrow strip of fake leather up by the toes and that will be how it stays on the foot. We should also put a big metal buckle on that leather so when it's sunny out, and the wearer moves their toes they'll burn them. Oh and let's market it to kids. I'm sure they will be wonderfully safe to run around in. If we make it the blue light special at K-Mart they will be irresistible." I still remember coming home from K-Mart with my wooden shoes all excited and proud, and I still have a scar from being burned by the buckle on my left middle toe to prove it.
My other shopping adventure was to the furniture store. I found the best couch in the WORLD!! It is a sectional. It has two room for seven- I'd be great if I were to find six friends. It has two reclining seats, it has lower back massage, build in lights in the headrest, drop down table, storage counsel, cup holders and get this- A FRIDGE that hold 4 beverages!!! It is AWESOME!! The only thing is if we get it the dogs can't be on it and what's the point of having a pet if you can't let them sit on your lap and pet them? But it is a super cool couch!
Stay tuned for my next post- which I am sure you will be anxiously awaiting- "What is with my PMS?"

Saturday, May 14, 2011

My Babies Are Growing Up

If you are a parent you understand when you have those days that you look at your children and wonder "Who are you? Where did my little boys go?" Noah is so grown-up. He is so smart and kind, thoughtful and sweet, genuine and beautiful. He loves sports more than life itself and spends much of his time orchastrating time to hang out with his friends. He is growing up so fast. He starts middle school next year. For Mother's day Noah and Ethan wrote letters to me. Noah wrote, "You are a great mom. You've never missed any of my games even if it's cold out because you love me. But I still love you more And you usually say yes to stuff I ask, like facebook." Ethan wrote, "I love you more than I can say in words. You are so nice to me and love me." They both made me want to cry. I am so lucky. Ethan wants to grow up so fast and do the same things as his brother, but he still likes to cuddle and share his blanket with me. He's the first one to crawl in my bed in the morning to ask me something and lay there cuddling. He loves the dogs, well any furry or baby animal for that matter. He really doesn't understand why we can't get a kitten or two along with a guinea pig and hamster. I love them both so much and they are growing up way too fast.
Funny things my students have said lately: "Every day more and more of my hair falls out!!"
We were writing about our dreams for when we grow up: "I dream of being a Kindergarten Music teacher. And my classroom will be in the hallway." I wonder if her 'classroom' in the hall is a by-product of going to an overcrowded school?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Little Friends

This, the third to the last week of school, we've had tears, "My mom says we might have to give my cat away because he goes potty where he shouldn't." Cheers, "My dad says my mom is starting to like him a little bit again!" Revelations, "My family doesn't celebrate Easter. We're Catholic." And observations, "Mrs. Fairfield, your hair looks longer today. You should get it cut." They have not however learned that if you don't do your book project, or worse plagiarize or cheat, your teacher will 1) Make you still do it. 2) Make you do it while the rest of the class is having fun. The kidos have a book project each month. They have five weeks to read the book, make a plan of attack and do it. This month the kids were suppose to read a book. Write down what genre it is, if they recommend it, why they chose it (most said because my teacher told me it's a good choice for me), who they would recommend it to, (usually to anyone with a lot of time on their hands) and most importantly a 3-5 sentence summery of the book. One sentence from the beginning, the middle and end. I had 7 kids- (1/3) of my class either not do it at all, or COPY the summery DIRECTLY from the back cover. I informed them that's cheating. They didn't look the least bit sorry or guilty. I even told them "there will be a consequence. I'll tell you what it is later this week. Try not to worry." They aren't worrying at all!! They are skipping and laughing!One was sad, but only because he knows I'll make him redo it. So my plan is to have ice cream, popcorn and a movie Friday afternoon while those 7 are reading their new books for their new project in the hallway. A part of me wants to say there's only 11 days left. You gave up. I give up too. If I haven't taught you there will be a consequence for not doing your work in the past 163 days, you probably won't figure it out in the last 11. But if I don't make them redo it, they'll 'get one over on old Mrs. Fairfield', and we can't have that!
Meanwhile, I am still waiting for my magic wand to arrive.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

13 Days and Mother's Day

Now I have only 13 days left, 13 days left, 13 days left, until they set me free!! 13 days of school left. Ever since I had 23 days left I've been able to let go of a lot of stress. I kinda feel like, "If I couldn't fix 'em or teach 'em in 152 days, I'm not going to do it in the last 23." Since I've had that revelation I've been able to let go and have a lot more fun at school. I found I really enjoy being with my students. They are a good class and I'll miss them next year because this group is completely trained and next year I'll have to have to re-train another group. I actually even told them today I'd go teach 4th grade next year if I could have them as students. That said, I do like my group, but I love summer and still have a count down. Also last week was teacher appreciation week and I wasn't "appreciated". I hope it's just because they kids didn't know and not because they think I suck. Spring arrived just last week and I know in less than four short months fall/winter will be back. I feel like I'm counting down or wishing my life away, "I wish it were spring, I wish it was summer, 13 days until vacation..." But I guess in the summer when the weather is nice I wish each week would be 10 days instead of 7.

Yesterday was mother's day. As a motherless daughter, I have struggled with mother's day. It's not as bad as the mother's day I was suppose to be a mother, but that baby wasn't to be, but I still count the days as it approaches and try to convince myself that it's no big deal. I wake up each mother's day determined to keep a smile on my face but I always end up crying. For no apparent reason. Always. Just like on my mom's birthday, October 8, the date she died, November 17, the date of the funeral, November 20th and memorial week.
Yesterday I decided I was going to celebrate being a mother and not think about missing my own. I have learned even though at times it doesn't seem that way or feel like it, I may stumble, fall, fail and fumble in every aspect of my life, but my children will still love me with every breath they take.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sara's Favorite Things

In the last week I heard about Opera's Favorite Things three times. Once on the radio, once at work, and I read about it in my magazine (not the Opera one). It made me wonder why isn't there a list of Sara's favorite things? Would it make people want to be a "joiner" and agree with my favorite things like Opera's favorite things? Here is my list
1. I love summer. The hotter the better.
2. Pools and lakes, especially if a cold beverage is involved.
3. Long car rides in the fall and summer.
4. Being a mom. It is my favorite-est thing.
5. Math- doing it and teaching it.
6. Reading- doing it.
7. Watching tv with my family in the evenings.
9. Facebook
10. My kindle, and I-Pod touch
11. Sleep and naps
12. My puppies
13. BABIES!!
14. My old school, Roosevelt
15. Toyota Highlander
16. Scrapbooking
17. Dt. Mt. Dew
18. Shrimp wrapped in bacon and cheese.
19. A photo of Ethan missing his two top teeth smiling so hard he is squinting and hugging Sam
20. A photo of Noah in Kindergarten holding one 5 pound bag of potatoes in one hand, and another in the other hand saying the 5 pound bag on the left is heavier.
21. Baby pictures of my babies.
22. My house and yard
23. Minnesota
24. Cowbell
25. When my students have art at school.
26. Friends
27. Movies
28. Popcorn
29. A drink after work
30. PINK
31. Flowers
32. Chicken salad with grapes and cashews
33. Last day and First day of school
34. Target
35. Structure and organization
36. Ice cream
37. Fresh cut grass
38. Christmas
39. My siblings
40. Lavender- the smell and color
41. When kids behave at school
42. When kids are engaged in learning at school
43. Julie's toddler, Lilly
44. Memories of my mom.
45. Vacations and trips
46. Wii
47. Basketball
48. Sandals
49. Entertainment Weekly
50. A cozy bed

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I Think I Might Be Old...

I've noticed lately maybe I am getting old. I work with a lot of young twenty-somethings. I clearly remember being the "young one" on the staff, but now I've graduated to "one of the old bags", but not quite to the "Good Grief how long are you going to teach? Retire already" group. It's not like I turned old overnight, but it seems like I noticed it in the span of one week... 1. I've watched (and sadly participated in the first) zumba fashion mistake twice. In the early 90's it was "zumba" now they're three times the price and called "granny pants". I'm wondering if the name came from young people seeing us wearing them in the 90's and thinking "they're old enough to be my granny." 2. I do not feel comfortable wearing "outside" boots as my real shoes. Too many bad memories of having to wear my "moon boots" in elementary school because I forgot to pack my shoes in my "book bag". 3. Kids look at me, point and laugh when I tell them to get their "book bags" at the end of the day. 4. I don't understand the comeback of leggings. They were only flattering on 2% of the population in the 90's, why would they be flattering now? 5. Ditto to "skinny" jeans. 6. My theory on jeans is bell bottoms- even thought they sometimes catch my shoes and make me trip on the steps- make your ankles look wider, thus making your hips look as narrow as ankles. 7. I used to talk on a rotary dial, corded phone to my high school boyfriend. If I wanted privacy I'd shut myself in and closed the door to the sewing room. 8. I used to try hard to not dress like a mom. But now I realize it's not my clothes, it's these darn kids that make me look like a mom. 9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least a little bit tired. 10. I can't go out with my co-workers because they want to go out at 9:00 and I have my jammies on at 9:30. 11. I used to have to get up and change the channel on the black and white TV for my parents- and we had only three channels. 12. I remember being one of the first families in town to have a new fan dangled "micro-wave" oven! 13. We used to start the microwave and fight over who gets to put their face right up to the door to watch the food "magically" cook. 14. I watched the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when it first came out. 15. I remember renting a VCR to watch one of the five movies Barnesville had to rent at the gas station. 16. I was at a slumber party and thought we were super cool because we had three of the five movies to be rented- all played on an OWNED VCR. 17. I remember not knowing who was calling until I answered the phone. 18. In college I called a friend who had caller ID and she answered the phone "Hi Sara" and I was convinced she was psychic. It took me two months to figure out she wasn't. 19. I owned one of the first cell phones. It was the size and weight of a brick and was carried around in what now looks like a lunch bag. It only could call three pre-scribed numbers. Mine was my parents, Triple A, and 911. 20. I remember when 911 was in the "trial" phase and only offered in big communities.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It's 4:70 Somewhere...

I have a student I absolutely adore. "Bobby" reminds me so much of my Ethan. He is easy going and quick witted. If someone says or does something dumb, they both give that person the same look, as if to say "who ARE you?" Bobby also reminds me of Ethan because they both can take or leave almost everything, but when they find something they are looking forward to or love, they get so enthused. Today was Bobby's show and hell day. Usually the kids just tell us what's going on in their corner of the universe. As he sat in the coveted chair, Bobby told us about a trip his family has planned. "After school gets out for the summer we are flying to West Virgina to see my grandpa! I've never, ever been on a plane and I can't wait!! My mom says we will get out own can of pop for free! And I'll probably get to see a MOVIE. On. The. Plane!! We are first flying to Chicago and having a hangover (yep, he said hangover), and I hope it's not too long. Then we will get on another plane and fly all the way to West Virginia! I get to see my grandpa who lived in New Zealand, but moved to West Virginia in February. I met him when I was a baby, but I don't remember him. We talk on the computer and on the phone sometimes." Next, the children get to ask three question, which I have to preface every day "QUESTIONS. Not stories. Something he can answer." Student 1- "How are you getting to West Virginia?" Bobby- (giving the look) "We're flying." Student 2- "Are you um. Flying on a plane?" I really wanted to say, "Nope. He's flapping his arms really, really fast." But I held my tongue, however felt the need to intervene. "Has your grandpa always lived in New Zealand?" Bobby- "No. He moved there right after I was born. He taught college there." Student 3- "Did your grandpa drive to West Virgina when he moved back from New Zealand?" Naw, flapped his arms. It runs in the family. The next statement was "It's 10:75. Isn't it time for recess?"

Friday, April 8, 2011

My Little Friend

Remember a few months ago when I thought for a week I should go back to teaching Kindergarten? Then I saw a little boy, "Jimmy", walking down the hall, spinning and karate kicking the air and he almost kicked a girl in the head. I told him, "Oh no. You almost kicked her. That's not very safe." He ran after her and apologized. That really made me want to teach Kindergarten again because a third grader would probably say, "But I didn't kick her..." Well, I had door duty in the Kindergarten pod this week. I realized three things: 1) even though they are very little, they make A LOT of noise. 2) As soon as you tell them to stop doing something, they listen (for a little while until they forget). 3) They are so cute and think nothing of running up and hugging you. These kids have no clue who I am, yet they were like, 'I saw her yesterday. That means she's not a stranger so I must hug her.' During door duty I became reacquainted with Jimmy. On Monday he ran up to me and asked, "Are you Ms. Smith?" Ms. Smith is a Title teacher who lets kids borrow educational board games over night. "No, I'm Mrs. Fairfield. If I see her I'll tell her you're looking for her." On Tuesday he ran up and held my hand, "Are you Ms. Smith?" I thought 'ohh, honey, you can call me Ms. Smith'. Then I thought, I feel like a hooker, "You can call me whatever you want for enough money..." Needless to say, Jimmy hugged me everyday this week and usually held my hand whenever he talked to me. I hope he's in my class in three more years!

Thursday, March 31, 2011


Well, it's suppose to snow on and off for the next three days. Following that, we are suppose to get 6 MORE inches of snow on Sunday. Really? Where is global warming? I'll gladly give the polar bears my snow, so they don't all have to crowd on the one ice burg. I remember two years ago, in the middle of May I was at Noah's all day baseball tournament. I wore two shirts, a sweatshirt and a winter coat along with long johns. I think we'll still have snow in the middle of May this year. Oh well, baseball is a mind numbingly boring sport anyway. Maybe I'll get out of a few games this way. Stay tuned for the next blog, "Sam and Max get a haircut so now Maxie has a personality."

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


If you know me at all, you know I LOATHE the circus. I hate that the animals are locked up and "forced" to perform, and well I hate clowns. However, I do love the smell of cotton candy and popcorn. I remember bringing Noah when he was two years old and he wanted to leave at intermission. I spent the next six years dragging the kids to the circus. I took the last two years off mostly because 1) I didn't tell the kids the circus was in town and they didn't realize until it was gone and 2) Ethan didn't want to go because it would cut into his pajama wearing time on a Saturday morning. Last night Ethan and I were snuggling on the couch watching TV. A commercial for the circus came on. Me- "Do you want to go to the circus this year?" Ethan- "Can I have dots?" (an ice cream that melts in your mouth) Me- "Do you only want to go so you can eat dots?" Ethan- (Pausing) "Kind of. But one time there were three tigers and they jumped through a hoop that was on fire." So I guess I'm going to the circus. It'll probably be the last time, so I'll bring my camera and morn my children growing up. When did they get so big. What was I doing? I swear they do it when I'm not looking just to spite me.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Maybe I DO Make A Difference

I have acknowledged and almost accepted that I do not make a difference in the lives of children, especially working on the South Side. One the South Side, the class sizes are so big the kids get less one-on-one attention. The schools are so big the kids could go a month or more after moving onto the next grade without seeing you, and when they do it's like, "That lady looks somewhat familiar. I wonder if she works with my mom..." Having taught for four years at the Kindergarten Center, I found this to be especially true. The kindergartners go off to their "home school" and never see you again. One time I saw a girl two years after I taught her and I went to talk to her and her mother. Neither one recognized me, and actually ARGUED with me about having been her teacher. The kicker is she was the type of student I wouldn't "dream" of having. I really deserved a metal-or five to six tall ones at the end of the year with her. That was when Ethan was a baby and the last time I went up to a former student.
One the North Side, the schools are so small you can (and I did with many) teach all of the siblings in the same family. Also if you're willing to switch grades you teach the same kids for two years. Even though after TWO years Andy Panda still called me "Teacher" and I'd bet money he can't recall my name, but if I saw him at the Mall I know he'd sprint over to me and give me a hug while telling everyone around him, "She was my teacher. Twice."
Anyway, recently being re-located to the South Side and adopting my new bad attitude I've been proven wrong THREE TIMES!! I know- crazy- I'm never wrong!! The first time was when a girl from one of the other third grade rooms asked me if I used to teach at the K- Center. "Yes." "You were my brother's teacher!!" "Really? You were a newborn. I remember the day he came to school and announced he had a baby sister!!"
The second time was this week. I was walking to the office and a fifth grade stopped me. "Are you Mrs. Fairfield? Did you teach Kindergarten?" "Yes." "I was in your class- I'm Baily!" Oh my gosh! She was so grown up! I never would have recognized her (even if she wasn't wearing a stocking hat). The fifth graders don't fit in our school because of over-crowding so they go to the Middle School, but get to come back for after school activities. After telling her she's tall and asking how she could be so grown up, I asked her, "Are you here for open gym?" "I came for open gym, but now I'm going to do net books and I just got my last rabies shot today." Of course you're Baily!! Only Baily can make leaps like that and logically think those things are related. There was a time when I could totally catch up with her leaps and make perfect sense of them as well. While we were talking about the reason she's gotten "either 5 or 30" rabies shots, the fourth grade teachers walked by and Baily points at me and yells to them, "My Kindergarten teacher!" as if I'm some sort of exotic exhibit. It made me happy. I did make a difference. She remembered me. She can't remember how many rabies shots she just finished receiving, but remembers me. After I finished my chat with Baily I told her fourth grade teacher, Donna, that she remembered me. Donna told me I was her hairdresser's daughter's kindergarten teacher too, and she talks about me all of the time. I thought about it and that girl must be in eighth grade by now. All three kids were from the South Side. I didn't teach them for two years, and they didn't see me when they were in first grade, but the remembered me. Maybe I do make a difference.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Epiphany

Flying down the stairs and floating up in the air are recurring dreams I have. Freud says dreams are your unconscious' was of trying to sort out problems you're having. I don't think I have an unrealistic fear of tripping while going down the stairs- as long as it's not in public and I don't get hurt, or a fear of the ability to float. I actually think that would be a neat little trick. However, sometimes you have a dream that doesn't just sort things out in your unconscious, but hits you like the big elephant in the room. My second grade teacher, Mrs. Nikle, is now a fourth grade teacher at my school. I had a dream that I was back in Barnesville in the second grade, but this time I was the teacher and my teaching partner was Mrs. Nikle. The students we were teaching were in my grade- as in the ones I graduated with. Mrs. Nikle was so worried about and fretting over the students. "Dusty doesn't work up to his potential. Dave is lazy. Ryan keeps setting the curtains on fire. Jeremy keeps showing everyone his privates. Tiffany is whinny, and Ann is just plain mean. I don't know what I'm going to do with them. How will I fix them? What's going to happen to them?" On a side note, every time the teacher left the room my cousin, Jeremy, would whip out his privates and parade up and down the aisles showing off his "stuff". Having grown up never seeing my brother naked, or having any younger boy cousins, I should have been shocked that boys have something I've never seen. Oddly, I remember not being surprised about boys' "privates", but that he'd wander around shoving it at kids so they'd have a good look. Maybe it's just me, but isn't that more disturbing? Huhhh. Anyway, in my dream I told Mrs. Nikle, "It's OK. They'll all turn out fine. Dusty still doesn't work to his potential, but he's really happy. Dave is still lazy, but oh well- you can't force him to work if the National Government can't. Ryan isn't an arsonist- well unless you count burning down his mom's garage in High School. Jeremy isn't a pedophile. Tiffany is still whinny, and Ann is still mean, but they seem to be OK. There are a few who didn't turn out so good, but it's sure not YOUR fault. No one can blame their Second Grade teacher for not turning out." I woke up thinking, 'THAT'S IT! however, or whatever they grow up to be is not my fault.' I highly doubt after a brain surgeon completes his first surgery he celebrates by saying, "Thank God for my third grade teacher! If it weren't for her, I'd never be successful or saved that guys life". You might hear, "If that third grade teacher would have been better (without telling my child 'no' or making them sad), my Johnny wouldn't be in prison."- But let's face it, that's totally misplaced blame. I think not only my unconscious, but my every thought was focused on feeling like a failure because a few of my students aren't where I want them to be. Having that dream made me let go. And, while looking at the big picture- they will all turn out fine, but if they don't it certainly isn't their third grade teacher's fault. - It's the fourth grade teacher's fault. :)

Snow Day/ PJs and Do What I Want Day

Sleet, freezing rain, snow and wind is not what people think of when they think about March. "Mad basketball games", grass, and short drunk angry men dressed in green accusing everyone of wanting their gold is what we think of. We knew about this winter storm since Monday. It was supposed to hit yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon and last through tonight. It did sprinkle on and off all day yesterday and at about 4:30 it started sleeting and raining ice pellets. The ice pellets quickly accumulated to about 3 inches by 6:30. It was really windy, but ice pellets are pretty heavy so they didn't fly very far. By Tuesday night they closed the interstate and I went to bed thinking, "I really don't want a snow day. That means we won't get Easter Monday off. I want a four day weekend! However, wouldn't a two-hour-late be wonderful? We would get to skip Morning Meeting plus (a half hour of teaching students in grades K-4 who are not in your class about good character). Mine do not answer or participate AT ALL. I swear I could ask, "Who wants ice- cream?!" and no one would raise their hand. Anyway, we'd skip Morning Meeting Plus AND not have to make up a snow day! Win-win!! However, I quickly realized that we are still expected to get to school at the regular time if school is two-hours late (I'm guessing it's in case some parents didn't get the memo that school is two hours late and send their kids anyway). That led me to wonder, how will I get to school in the morning? I fell asleep at 9:30 with my phone next to me. If school is two hours late, or if it's canceled, we get a phone call telling us. Every time I turned over or half woke up I thought, 'where in the hell is my damn phone call'. My alarm went off at 6:15. I got up and started getting ready. I can always tell if we'll have a late start or cancellation based on if I can see the houses across the golf-course in my back yard. I could not only see the houses, but if I squinted, I could maybe make out who built a snowman in their back yard. Just as I was about to step into the shower my phone rang. "This is the district office. All school and after-school activities have been canceled for the day". YAY!!! SNOW DAY- also known as 'pj wearing, staying in bed or big comfy chair, and doing only what I want day.' I went back to bed and slept until 10:00. I was hoping I'd wake up at 8:00 so I could wake the kids saying, "Oh NO! We are late for school!! GET UP!" Hee hee. It's a little game I like to play on snow days. Anyway, I slept for 12 and 1/2 hours. What's with that? I checked on the Internet to see if maybe that's another symtom of a disease I might have that also causes me to be impatient, gain weight, and want never leave the house. Turns out stress causes all of those as well as "D-SOWS"- Damn Sick Of Winter Syndrome. Huh. Now that I know I'm not dying I am going to eat a cookie and take a nap. After all, it IS "do what I want day" and the high temperature for today is zero.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Leprechaun Day

One of my students came up to me this morning, "Guess what? My dad is full leprechaun, so that makes me half."

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Late last night we returned from our California adventure. We spend six days and seven nights by the ocean in San Diego. It was really great to get away from the winter, but even better to come home. We stayed less than a block from the ocean. We went to Sea World and Noah got to be part of the "Shamu Show" and ask Shamu to do tricks-( you don't tell a 6- ton animal to do anything). We went whale watching and saw three gray whales. We went to the San Diego Zoo, and saw a panda and koalas, and walked 28 miles uphill. We went to Lego Land and went on lots of rides, and also the Wild Animal Park. The Wild Animal Park is on 900 square acres of land. The animals are all African animals (and tigers) and aren't in cages. They are wandering out among each other- except the lions, tigers and cheetahs- they are in fences. We got to see the lions "playing leap-frog" aka- mating, and a cheetah walking on a leash like a dog. We also went to DisneyLand. We had Disney cash left over from two years ago when we went to Disney World, so we went to a fancy restaurant. It was a New Orleans restaurant. I had chicken gumbo and shrimp jambalaya. It was the spiciest food I have ever eaten. My mouth was on fire. I had a stomach ache and heart burn the rest of the night. I was not feeling good, and Disneyland is the happiest place on Earth, so that just seemed wrong. I am exhausted from my trip. Every moment was jammed pack full of activity. I like my down-time. However, when I look back at vacations, I don't remember the down-time, I remember the adventures. Anyway, I am sure I walked at least 25 miles each day because we were at every park from open til close. I only ate a small breakfast (to avoid side cramps) and skipped lunch and had supper. You'd think walking 25 miles each day, every day, for 6 days and skipping a meal would mean I'd lose weight. I lost a pound and a half. Really?? I remember in my twenties I could skip lunch two days in a row and drop three pounds. What's with this?
I'm not sure what to think of CA. It's a nice place to visit, but I'd hate to live there. Everyone is crabby. And rude. I'm thinking, "You have beautiful weather all year. What do you have to be crabby about?" They are also so... different. I felt like the black sheep- well the pasty white pale sheep who sticks out like a sore thumb. There are a lot of Asians there. I used to think "You're crazy" when people would tell me that Spanish will be the official language of USA in the year 2035, now I think, "based off CA, yes, it will." California seems to have only two classes- well maybe three. The super rich. The working poor, and the non-working poor. One lady was on the news crying because she 'misplaced' her eight-year-old. How in the world do you misplace your eight-year-old? It's not like he's your car keys or remote. He's a human for cripes sake. "I jus don't know what happened. I ain't 'member the las time I saw 'em". Really. Who says that? And I thought social services was overworked in our area. During the whole vacation I really wanted to sleep and relax. I figured I could do it on my two long plane rides home. Ethan sat by me from San Diego to Chicago. He decided to do his homework. I'd just get to the real relaxed, about to conk out feeling when he'd nudge me and ask, "How do you spell once?" Again, I'd be falling asleep and I'd feel him staring at me and he asks, "How do you spell taking?" The last time I tried I thought 'three times a charm...' and he said, "how do I spell Disney?" I wanted to say, "m-i-s-p-l-a-c-e-d". Sleeping on that flight was not in the cards. I tried during the last flight. I sat in row 23 C. It was a three seats across plane, A on one side and B and C were together across the aisle. I was in a row with strangers. Scott was in 24A, Noah was in 24B and Ethan in 24C. I thought, 'yay, I'm by myself. Now I'll sleep.' Well the man next to me thought he was Bill Gates and he thought it was his job to educate me on the process of computer programing. As the plane was taxiing down the runway he started telling me "if you put all of the super computers, all of the regular computers, as well as any device or machine with a computer chip together, it still would not be as smart or powerful as the human brain." I don't know about you, but my GPS is smarter than a lot of brains I know. I started pulling out my magazine, hoping he'd get the hint. He didn't. He went on and on. He told me this is his first trip this far north and said, "Far-go. Get it. I am going Far?" Yep. Never heard that one. "Are your from Far-go?" I said, "Nope, Moorhead, it's right across the river in Minnesota." "You mean More-ahead? ahhhhaaaa haaa" I turned off my light and closed my eyes. He started talking to the person across the aisle. She was a french major from Concordia, but the only reason she majored in French was because she had a lot of credits in french from High School that could transfer. He started explaining computer programing to her. Told her a dumb french joke, and kept rambling. All I kept thinking was "why don't they have a NO TALKING sign here? I could start flashing at any time now." I was about to fall asleep and Ethan poked me through the seat. "Can I have your I-Pod?" I give it to him. Five minutes later, Bill Gates ran out of people to listen to him and I was drifting off and Ethan pokes me again. "Noah needs help with his homework." Really? He is sitting across the aisle from his dad. He couldn't ask him? I talk to Noah through the seat, "Why did you wait until now to do your homework? You had 10 days to ask for my help. I can't help you now."- Because I am talking to him through the seat we only see half of the other person's face. Noah got teary and I turned around mad. I was mad because I made my kid cry, and because he waited until the last possible moment- 9:30 PM to do his homework. AND his dad was right by him!! All of a sudden Noah and Ethan jump up and Noah announces, "Can I go to the bathroom?" Turns out he threw up in the bathroom. When he got back he told me he's fine and I told him to drink ginger ale. I closed my eyes, only to hear the stewardess say, "ohh, honey, just breath deep and take sips." ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! I turn around and look at him between the seats. He's crying. I give him my barf bag. He immediately starts to use it. I look at Scott and he's staring out the window with head phones in his ears. Seriously? The only time I am that oblivious about what's going on is if I am unconscious. I glare at him and ask if he'll take care of his son. He says, "What? huh? Why?" As he's ushering Noah to the bathroom, Ethan pokes me between the seats again and says, "Noah threw up because he doesn't know how to do his math." I was torn between switching with Ethan so I can help, or staying put. Chatty Cathy had his eyes closed and I didn't want to start him up again, so I asked Scott to help him. He did and Noah was perfectly fine the rest of the way home. I didn't sleep at all on either plane.
Fargo might have only three months of decent weather, but it's home. I fit in here. I don't feel like someone is going to yell at, or shoot me for looking at them. We may be dangerously close to the frozen tundra, but it does keep out the rif-raft. I guess all I have to say is there's no place like home.

Today at school we were talking about nationalities.
"I'm part Norweigan and part German"
"I'm Irish, Bosnian and Canadian"
One girl said, "My mom is Norwegian and my dad is Catholic."

Monday, February 21, 2011

www. Dr.

Today I went on a medical website, where you should get all of your information and advice on anything health related. The web page asked; 1. Are you overweight? I'm thinking, 'What's overweight? I DO have shoes on and 5 dollars worth of pennies in my pocket..." 2. How do you sleep? I sleep great!! I'd sleep all day if I could. This whole "life" thing gets in my way. I sleep 9 hours a night, which is about an hour-and-a-half to two hours too short. 3. How are you eating? I am eating great! I want to eat all of the time! I'll eat anything someone else wants to cook for me. 4. Are you getting enough fluids? YES! Beer is mostly made of water, right?...

Thoughts that I think: I'm planning on writing "words of wisdom" on my white board every morning. My first one will be, "I am absolutely a super hero. The only reason I'm not wearing my cape is because I am behind on my laundry".

Friday, February 18, 2011

5 Good Things

1. It's Friday. That means tomorrow I can sleep in.
2. One day of conferences are over.
3. Door duty is done until April.
4. Noah doesn't have a basketball tournament this weekend!
5. It's gotta be 5:00 somewhere...

A very sweet, smart, well behaved 8-year-old gave me this advice today; "You should get a dog clicker to click at us when we do something good."

Saturday, February 12, 2011

My Adventure to Jamestown

I was looking at posts I made a year ago and I was a lot wittier. Is wittier even a word? This question is coming from a mom who lets her eight-year-old say "althletical" because I think it's funny. Today Noah's team, the Cougars, had a tournament in Jamestown. A few weeks ago I was watching Criminal Minds and the criminals were ruthless (compared to the nice serial murderers) and they were from Jamestown, ND!! Who knew? Not me- until I spent the day there. Seriously, Jamestown is a dive. It's a scary, scary place. While I was there I was thinking, "the jails could save a lot of money if they just sent some prisoners to live here. Wait a minute, maybe they do?" Noah's team smoked the first two, 35 to 12 and the second 44 to 14. The third game was lost during the last five seconds when Valley City made a basket. However, the people running the scoreboard gave Valley City two 3 pointers when the kid wasn't outside the 3 point line, so I think Noah's team should have still won. It's a conspiracy I tell you. All of those backward towns against "big bad Moorhead". While we were there we went to the "Polar Diner" which was at one time a KFC, and the building still looked like a KFC and had the same menu minus the delicious 11 herbs and spices. It did, however have a sign on the door that read, "Sorry, no outside food allowed"- DUH! It's a restaurant!! Do people really need to be told that? Well apparently so because you know there's a reason the owners had to put it up. Anyway, the girl behind the counter was probably a Junior or Senior in High school and she was very pretty. She seemed nice, smart and normal. A senior age (I say that because he may be a drop out) boy came in with less teeth than Ethan, and that's kind-of saying a lot since Ethan is eight and in the middle of losing his baby teeth. He smelled like old socks and smoke and wore a "wife beater" with a sleeveless black button up shirt (unbuttoned) that read "official Playboy talent scout". He was so smarmy. It was gross. However, the girl- whom I once thought was smart and pretty- shamelessly flirted with him. I was torn between kidnapping her to get her out of a town where that's her best option, and punching her in the head hoping it'll knock some sense into her. So there you go, that's my adventure to Jamestown.
Earlier this week I came home and found a Valentine card Ethan made me:
"Happy Valentimes Day Mom" (open the card) "Your love for me is a strong as the stink on my feet". I know, isn't he a romantic? He will make some lucky girl very happy some day...

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Hovercraft

I was listening to the TV in the background and I heard the following; "Are you having trouble getting around?" Why yes I am. My shoes hurt my little toes so much I kind-of hobble. "Do you feel like a burden to others when waking them to help you to the bathroom in the middle of the night?" Well, I feel a little guilty for waking others to ask if they'll GO to the bathroom FOR me in the middle of the night- so YES! "Do you have hip, knee, ankle or feet problems?" Hell yes! My shoes hurt my feet a lot! Also, I am sure I have falling arches. By this time I was getting a little excited. "Have you fallen in the past month?" Yes! In the entry of our church. It was the second time I was there in less than nine hours. I think instead of striking me with lightening, God made me fall down because of my damn slippery shoes. "Are you 65 or older?" No, but some days I feel like it. "If you answered Yes to three or more of these questions, you may qualify for a free hovercraft. YES!! I'm gettin' me a hovercraft!! I will drive it everywhere in the summer to save on fuel costs. I can't really use it in my house because it's split level, but it will come in so handy when trying to get somewhere fast! You don't just drive like normal people, you HOVER- I think that means above the ground, and that means- Traffic!! I can't wait!!!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy 2011

I learned a lot about myself this year:
1. I am very naive. If someone tells me something, there is a 99.9% chance I will believe them.
2. My children are my world.
3. Scott and I don't do enough together, as in alone.
4. True friends are hard to come by. Luckily, they seem to "turn back up" when you really need one.
5. "Fly by the night" friends are easy to come by, and are disguised by a good friend.
6. I am a soccer/baseball/t-ball/football/basketball mom.
7. I love the Christmas spirit, the lights, the hope it brings, but I hate the stress that goes along with it.
8. If something is important to me, I will stand up for it and do what it takes to get it done- i.e.- my pool.
9. I can pack my 74 boxes and move to a school across town and be thrown into culture shock and survive. It was REALLY hard, but I'm OK.
10. I can adapt to my new school that is polar opposite of what I am used to- even at my age (well except for the commute) and learn to even like it.
11. I am not a runner. I'd like to be, but it turns out I only run if something or someone is chasing me.

I have decided happiness is a choice. I choose to be happy. My 3 resolutions are; stop biting my nails because I am a grown-up now, drink less beer, and loose 25 pounds. Maybe the drink less beer will help with my third goal.

What will 2011 entail for me? Hopefully a family trip to San Diego and continued love, health, and happiness.
Here are my "rules to live by for the new year" because we all know every wise person stepped into a few cow flops on their way to wisdom, and we can all learn from them.
"Happiness and bliss are just a choice away. However, if you want really good Chinese food, you're going to have to drive." - Sara Fairfield
"When life gives you lemons, freeze them, invite you enemies over, and wing them off your balcony at them" - John Tesh
"It's unavoidable. Some days are just buzzkills"- Mother Theresa
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. And, If that step happens to be toward Brad Pitt, I'm coming with you."- A traditional Thai Saying
"Watson, you dillweed. It's never going to work if you don't plug it in!"- Alexander Graham Bell
"When life gets me down, I go for a walk in the woods. I figure if I stay there long enough, the jerkwads who hurt me are going to think I was eaten by a bear and then the jokes on them, right? Ha!" - Sara Fairfield
Happy New Year