Thursday, December 09, 2010

That's It.

I can't do it anymore. 

After being reprimanded again for writing about something someone was uncomfortable with, I've decided I can't do this anymore.  This is my last entry in this blog.  I have done everything I can to make this blog anonymous, but people that know me still know this blog and I can't keep censoring myself anymore.

I have started a brand new blog.  I'm not telling anyone the address.  I even got a new email address so there is no connection to me.  I am disappointed I had to do this, but I want to have the freedom to express what I want.

Thank you to anyone who has read this blog.  I appreciate that you were along for the journey.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Yet Another Sick Day

Still not mine.

J is sick this time, but it seems like only a low grade fever (can't find the stupid thermometer) and cough. She woke me up this morning around 7, which meant I couldn't write up specific plans, but the preschool director said she would take care of it.  I mean, I did have my plans for the week written up, but it doesn't specifically say what I was planning to do today. 

So while J lays on the couch relaxing, here's what I plan to accomplish:
  • Laundry, laundry, and more laundry - I have done so much laundry today that I literally have lost track.  I'm thrilled to say that I only have two baskets waiting to get washed left.
  • Sorted every piece of laundry in the house.  Now have HUGE piles on my bed, but will work through them all through out this day.  And YES, I had to add it to my To Do list so I could now say this - TA DA
  • 5 minutes in the LR, DR, and Kitchen  TA DA
  • Chop up veggies for soup  TA DA (And the soup was delicious!!!)
  • Cut up the chicken
  • Rearrange the kitchen cabinets - plates and cups
  • Create world peace
  • Work on our budget (hmmm...maybe I should just stop at world peace)
  • Once again tackle the mountain of papers
I hope I can get more than this accomplished, but for now, this is my TO DO list, which I hope will soon turn into my TA DA list.  I will add in italics what I actually do today.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Scenes from an Italian Restaurant

Okay, so it's not really "an Italian restaurant" so much as my favorite Borders.

And it's not really "scenes" so much as ideas I've gathered from my stack of magazines and books to look at while I'm hanging out which I will return to the shelves before I leave for the night.

But when I tried to think of a good title, "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" stuck in my head.

Deal with it.

This afternoon was kind of rough, so I jumped on DH's offer to basically take the rest of the day off in exchange for various {ahem} favors.

And now I'm at Border's.  Alone.  Ahhhhhhhh....

I decided to list all the fabulous ideas I gather tonight.  Whether I end up actually USING any of them remains to be seen.

  • Lay a Tray - create a decoupaged tray using egg shells that have been thoroughly cleaned and broken into small pieces.
  • Go Gaming - make a centerpiece kind of tray thingy by gluing misfit game pieces on a plain charger.  Note to self - figure out what a "plain charger" is.
  • Check out to figure out if we can get a free home energy audit.
  • This one woman featured in this magazine had no room for a separate pantry, so she opened one kitchen wall to expose the studes and added 2x4s cut to size for shelving.
  • Go to for some much needed advice on how to hopefully paint my kitchen cabinets.  Or maybe we should just remove the doors altogether?
  • I need to replace the awful, huge, fluorescent light in the kitchen - maybe with a "chic pendant lamp" from IKEA and one of those pot holder thingies.
  • IF (and this is a big IF) we had an "extra room" that could be used as a guest bedroom, there's an article here on how to make it do double duty as a craft room by using a Murphy bed. 
  • Oh my goodness - I cannot IMAGINE taking the time to wrap presents so they will look as fancy-schmancy as these do in this craft magazine!
  • Hmmm...these rooms with white, shoulder height paneling look great.  And by layering different styles of molding on top of the paneling leaves a nice sized ledge to use for display stuff.
  • I want to take everything out of our shed, apply painted pegboard to the walls, and hang everything from the walls.  Install hooks and buckets to the insides of the shed doors to hang lots of stuff.
  • You can use a kazoo to blow bubbles!
  • Use a six-pack carton as a car caddy to hold tissues, hand wipes, granola bars, whatever.
  • Go to to buy a $3 sippy straw cleaner!  We don't use sippy cups anymore, but all three kids love silly straws - I wonder if it would work for them.
  • to set up help for J's school party (I'm the homeroom mom for the first time).
  • I want to install an indoor swing or hammock seat in the kids' playroom.  It appears that IKEA sells an Ekorre swing kit and mounting hooks for a total of $17.  Sweet!
  • To make a pegboard to use in the entryway, paint it first with a base coat.  Trace the objects you want to hang with a pencil, and then use a paintbrush to paint inside the lines with the second color.  It looks really cool.
  • $20 canopy for J's room: Buy tulle ($2.50 for a nine by three feet sheet), hang it over her bed with four small nails or sturdy pushpins - it's that easy!
  • Preschool idea - find vintage rotary wall phones and hang them on the wall
  • Just as I have always said - you will NOT catch a cold simply by going outside with wet hair.
Okay, the person sitting next to me is eating vegetarian sushi and it smells SOOO good, but they don't sell that here, so now I have to ask him where he got it from so I can immediately go there, buy some, and head home.  Of course, he's deep in conversation, so I probably should at least wait until there is a slight lull, but before he throws the packaging away.  

I hope you enjoyed the ideas I found as much as I did!

Just a Pinch and Then It's Over

Before we left for school this morning, I gathered the kids around me. "I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is I'm picking you up from school early today and taking us all over to Dunkin Donuts!"

Cheers erupted through the dining room. Only one child, after jumping up and down a few times out of sheer joy, realized something must be up and suspiciously asked, "Why?"

"Well," I began slowly, "the bad news is that we first have to swing by the doctors' office to get our flu shots."

Cheers were soon replaced with loud sobs.

I got them calmed down, sent them off to school, went to my own school to teach, but their appointment got closer and closer and I couldn't put it off any longer. I picked up the kids and drove to the office. Tears started as soon as the van doors closed.  I repeated our shot mantra over and over:  "It's just a pinch and then it's over," but A screamed, "But some pinches are longer than others!"  I tried to redirect by asking for descriptions of the donut they were going to get afterwards, but A cried, "I just can't think about that now!"

Side note - While I try as a rule to not reward/bribe children with food, especially desserts, sometimes nothing else will do.
The actual time inside the examining room was fifteen minutes, but somehow once we entered the small room (the better for our screams to bounce off the walls and deafen Mommy) all time stopped. By the time we left, all the children were semi-calm once again, but I still ended up having to physically restrain all three of them while they each wailed at the top of their lungs. A jumped out of my arms three different times until I finally had to sit in a chair and hold him on my lap with both arms AND a leg, only to have him begin to laugh through his tears as soon as the shot was over, explaining, "It didn't hurt as much as I thought it would!"

Great, buddy.  I'm so glad it's didn't hurt YOU as much as you thought it would.  It sure hurt ME just as much as I thought it would!  I hate having to hold them down so some scary doctor or nurse can inflict pain.  I feel like I'm betraying any and all trust you have in me.  I know it's a necessary evil, but it still breaks my heart each and every time.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sick Day

Not mine. B has been sick with a fever and asthmatic cough, so we've been taking turns staying home with him. Today is my day. His fever was down this morning and is now gone (woohoo!) so he is now off the computer/not watching tv/done with the Wii and is tackling the mountain of schoolwork his brother brought home for him. Wasn't that nice of him? (sarcasm, in case you couldn't tell)

So now that he's not really, really sick, I really, really have no reason to still be sitting at the computer, ignoring the state of this house.  Really.  Since I wasted the morning:
B, I'm going upstairs to take a nap.  Here's the intercom if you need me, a big glass of juice with a silly straw, a bagel with margarine.  Enjoy watching the episodes of Fetch with Ruff Ruffman you just found on the computer.  Mommy needs to sleep.
Hmmm...does that make me a bad mom?  Or just one that was really, really tired?
I have to get my butt in gear so I at least feel like I accomplished SOMETHING!

Here's the plan, which I will attempt to complete in between helping B not get overwhelmed with his work:

  1. Fold and put away the laundry in the dryer, transfer laundry in the washer into the dryer, and put the blanket B threw up on into the washer.  Yuck!   - DONE
  2. Attack the kitchen - empty dishwasher - DONE, reload dishwasher - DONE, wash by hand the large dishes that will not fit in said dishwasher, clear off and clean off counters (including throwing away last week's CSA vegetables that I never got around to cooking - yes, I am hanging my head in shame as I throw my money away)
  3. Clear off the dining room table
  4. Resort and organize my many plastic containers and stock up on individual portions of snacks to make lunches easier to prepare
  5. Fold and put away laundry in the dryer, transfer blanket to the dryer, put in yet another load of laundry that clearly seems to multiply whenever I turn my back
  6. Find a face painting face template to print out so I can show what I am able to paint.  I volunteered to face paint at the school district's PTO carnival this weekend, and it sure makes it easier when I have faces for kids to pick
  7. If I'm still standing at that point - tackle the Paper Pile threatening to fall on and crush anyone who breathes on it wrong.
Sigh.  It's pretty sad that just typing that list was the highlight of my day so far.  Okay, okay, before B moves on to his math, I better get up and go.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Last Words

My friend M had a wonderful habit of ending almost every conversation by giving whoever she was speaking to a hug and telling them, "I love you and I care."  It always made me feel so special to see her and simply feel that love exuding from her. 

M and her husband A have been members at my synagogue since the synagogue began.  My parents joined the synagogue right after I was born, and I have been an active member since then, now teaching there six days a week, four different classes.  When I was twelve I was given permission to finally join the Adult Choir (there was no other choir to join at the temple at that time).  M was one of the two original members of the choir.  I was the youngest member of the choir, but having grown up with all of the choir members, really felt like I had lots of additional sets of parents and grandparents.  M and A, out of all of these, were my favorite set of extra grandparents.

Every time the choir performed, M would sit in the front row and A would sit at the end of his row so the two of them would end up basically sitting next to each other.  You rarely saw one without the other.  M and I would often chat about her grandson after services.  She usually laughed as she described that her grandson had no idea she was as old as she was since she got on the floor with him to play all the time.

Tuesday was a bad day.  J started the day by tantruming that she hated school and didn't want to go anymore.  All three kids ended up missing the bus because of it, so I had to drive them to school.  As I pulled out of their school's parking lot, the van started making an unsual noise that got a little louder as I continued driving.  The synagogue is only about five minutes away, so I slowed down and just kept going.  The noise began sounding almost rhythmic, sounding like maybe a tire was becoming flat.  I pushed through, hoping to just make it to school before I couldn't drive anymore.  As I got closer the sound got louder until I just pulled into a parking lot nearby.  When I got out I looked at the tires, expecting to see one of the tires totally flat.  Nope.  They were all perfectly fine.  Hmmm.  I walked the rest of the way to school, arriving past my contractual start time, received a reprimand for not at least calling (oops - my cell phone's not charged), called my auto body mechanic BIL who happened to be around the corner and was able to check out the car before returning with the bad news: it's probably the transmission.  Oh, crap.

And then the kids arrived, so I threw myself into teaching, putting the van to the back of my mind.  Most of my class left that day at 12 (I stay until 1 with any kids sticking around for Lunch Bunch), so I called my mom to see if she could do me a favor and call our mechanic to have the van towed.  I know, I'm old enough to make these calls myself, but I didn't have the number on me and couldn't leave my classroom to find the number and call. 

As soon as she picked up the phone, she said, "I heard."

Wow.  I can't believe that my BIL called my sister who then called my mom all within the three hours I was teaching.  Just to clarify, I asked, "You heard about my car already?"

"No, I heard about M and A.  About the car accident.  They were both killed."

Silence.  I heard a buzzing around my head as I stepped back to lean against my desk.  My mom hadn't meant to blurt out this horrible news to me like this, she truly thought I knew and was calling to make sure that SHE had heard.  And she definitely didn't know I was still responsible for kids.  I struggled to make sense of what she had just said, and finally pulled myself together enough to sigh, "Oh my gosh.  Woah.  I hadn't heard that, but I still have kids here," at which point my mom began profusely appologizing for telling me like this, but I couldn't focus on that yet, knowing that I was seconds away from losing it and needing to keep up a front for the kids in my room.  "Um, I was calling about my car.  Can you call Billy's and get it towed there?  I'll talk to you later."  I hung up, stuck my head out into the hallway and in a very stiff voice asked for someone to step into my room for a moment, thinking to myself, "Keep it together, keep it together, keep it together..."  As soon as someone started heading down, I left the room, locked myself into a bathroom, and let loose.

After a couple minutes I forced myself to calm down and headed to the Cantor's office, the woman who has been the choir director since before I joined.  My red eyes told her instantly that I had just found out, and she wrapped me in a hug.  I couldn't help myself; I stiffened and pulled away unintentionally, knowing that I couldn't allow myself to fall apart again since I still had to go back to my classroom.  She pointed out one thing that helped:  at least this loving couple basically went together.  There was no long, drawn out time in the hospital for either of them; neither was aware of what happened to the other.  And as horrific as the situation is, that is a blessing.

The funeral for M and A is tomorrow.

I keep going back to M's words, "I love you and I care."  For most people, these will be the last words, the last interaction they had with her.  What an amazing memory for so many people.  And it made me begin focusing on the interactions that I have with other people.  Do I make them feel loved?  Do I show them that I care?  And what can I do to make sure they know?

The only thing I can think to do for now is to try to be in the moment, to be present.  When I'm with someone, I need to look at them and listen to them.  And I need to go outside my comfort zone and reach out to my beautiful friends and make plans to get together with them.

And to anyone who cares enough to read about my little life, I sincerely have to say:
I love you, and I love that you care.

P.S. In case you're curious, the van is dead.  We have to get a new one (well, new to us), and since the transmission is totally dead, we can't even use it for a trade in.  This will make our finances even more strained than they currently are.  I'm taking a deep breath now.  Let's get through the funeral tomorrow, and then we'll focus on car shopping Saturday.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Last Day of Freedom

Or is it that freedom begins again tomorrow?

Tomorrow is our first day back to school!

DH actually started last week, which might be part of the reason I can't wait for school to start up again for the rest of us.  We have had a great summer, went to tons of fun museums, saw some good movies, bowled, mini-golfed, saw some fabulous children's theater, went to my sister's community pool, played with the neighbor kids, even enjoyed a week down the shore with my parents, my sister and her family, my mom's cousin, and us.  And we are all sooo ready to get back into our regular routine.

I have been working hard on getting the kids and me (mainly me) into a good back-to-school routine.  Since getting out of bed in the morning is really hard for me (I am the Snooze Alarm Queen), I bought this fabulously annoying alarm clock to force myself to get up.  I have set it to begin ringing and moving simultaneously, so when the alarm goes off, the clock actually jumps off my night table while making the most obnoxious noises (but also loud and unusual enough that they do not get incorporated into my dreams).  To turn it off I have to get out of bed, find the clock (which by now is rolling all around my bedroom), and fiddle around with it to find the small alarm button to get it to shut up before the kids all hear it and come running into my room to watch it roll around the floor.  Hey, whatever it takes, right?

What I've been attempting to do is to get up about 45 minutes before the kids do so I can get downstairs first and work out with my Wii Fit Plus.  It works out so much better for everyone if I can finish my workout before the kids become my audience and begin commenting on every move I make.  Even though all three kids wake up ungodly early no matter what time they go to bed, we have trained them to stay in bed until their clock radios begin playing music at 7-3-0.  It usually works. 

Today I was out of bed by 6:45 and downstairs by 7, though I didn't actually start working out until 7:25.  By the time I was finished my 30 or so minute workout, the kids were all down, watching, and waiting for their breakfasts.  If I were to do the same thing tomorrow, we would be late for school, so I think I need to make sure all their breakfasts are on the table BEFORE I begin working out.  I'm trying to re-establish the routine that before they come downstairs in the morning, they dress (down to their shoes - no more last minute tears because "I don't know where my shoes are!") and make their beds (with their pjs under their pillows - I'm so sick of the boys not being able to find the pjs they wore the night before so they simply grab a new pair every single night!).  The other part of their routine is that they eat breakfast, clean up from breakfast, and then brush their teeth BEFORE anyone turns on the TV.  This might mean no TV in the morning, but at least it provides an incentive to get a move on.  Maybe I should just dictate no TV in the morning period, but I think I'll see how this week goes first.

This year all three kids are taking the bus to the same school and not coming home until 3:30.  I love my children, and have had a wonderful time with each and every one of them this summer, but . . . happy, happy, joy, joy!  I have meetings and prep time tomorrow and Wednesday, no school Thursday due to Rosh Hashana, and a "Meet the Teacher" day on Friday before school starts for real next Monday.  I will be working again until 1:00 every day.  Did you notice the time difference of the when the kids get home from school and when I get home from school?  Oh yeah, that's two and a half hours.  Monday through Friday.  Well, I'll be watching my DN-J one of those afternoons, but still - two and a half hours!!!  Whatever will I do with myself?!!

And so tomorrow, it begins again.  And I, for one, cannot wait!

Sunday, July 11, 2010


DH has OCD.  I always learn new things about his OCD, different thoughts he has that he logically knows are not rational, but must address in some way or he fears something bad will happen.  We were in the car the other day and he told me that even numbers are very important for him and it's hard for him when things are made up of odd numbers. 

Me: You do realize that having "only" three kids means we have five people in our family - which is an odd number.

DH: I have OCD, but I'm not CRAZY!

I took B, J, and DN-J to a concert by Allison DeSalvo, a favorite children's performer of ours.  When it finished, B turned to me, sighed, and stated, "I understand now why these shows are geared for preschoolers.  I just don't have that kind of energy anymore!"

Wasn't sure whether I should laugh or cry.

We were all on the Blue Route and saw my dad's van.  My dad stores EVERYTHING in his van, so much that he doesn't keep the seats in the van because there is so much junk in there.  Eventually he pulled off at an exit.  One of the kids wondered aloud where he might be going.  Another quickly piped up, "Maybe he's going to the dump!"

Driving home from some trip or another we spied the Goodyear Blimp up in the sky.
J:  Look - an airplane!
DH:  No, it's actually a blimp.
DN-J:  No, it's not.  (She is at such a pleasant stage right now.)
J:  You don't even know what a blimp is!
Me:  Do you?
J:  (after a brief pause) No.

Monday, May 24, 2010

New Blog

No, I'm not abandoning this one, but I just started a new blog to document my journey from CHAOS to inner peace (or something like that). It's called Come FLY With Me!

Check it out and let me know what you think!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Kids are Funny

We were having a problem with the computer. Despite A's suggestions, I tried my own idea which, unfortunately, didn't work.

A: Well, I am the computer wiz! W-I-Z-Z-Z-Z-Z!

Me (trying to teasingly show that I'm good at some things): Oh yeah? Well, "wiz" only has ONE Z in it!

B (defending his brother): Mommy, he never said he was a SPELLING wiz!!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

We have been reading and enjoying a wonderful book named Roxaboxen in preschool, all about the imaginary village a bunch of neighborhood children create, and it has inspired many different activities. In the book two of the kids set up an ice cream shop, and the rest of the kids use the black pebbles they found to buy ice cream (because in Roxaboxen, you can eat as much ice cream as you want), trying to determine which they like best. Can you guess one of the things we will be making this week? I uploaded my rebus recipe to Scribid and am attempting to embed it for the first time. I hope it works!

ice cream

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Summer Plans

I love this time of year. The weather is great - warm, sometimes hot, but no humidity yet. We can spend lots of time outside (both my family and my preschool class). We're winding down in school and I'm thinking of ways to celebrate the fun we had this year. My thoughts are also turning to next year and how I want to do things differently, better. And the summer hasn't even started yet, so it's completely ahead of us, endless possibilities, fun in the making.

We opted not to do camp this summer, except for a theater camp DH and I both teach that the kids attend for free. That meets at night (6 - 8) twice a week, so it's fun, but not a major time commitment. The boys both qualified for ESY (extended school year) for the first time, which I was excited about, thinking they would be getting much needed services that will keep them both from regressing over the summer. Then I spoke with the people who run and found out that B would only be getting a 1/2 hour of Speech and a 1/2 hour of OT once a week, which would come to one hour once a week. A qualifies for more, one hour of Speech, one hour of OT, and a 1/2 hour of PT. I don't know what I was envisioning when I got the paperwork and it said Tuesday through Thursday, 9-12. I guess it was that they would be attending school Tuesday through Thursday, 9-12! No, what it actually means is that B will be attending one hour on one of those days, some time between 9 and 12 and A would be attending for one hour on Tuesday, one hour on Wednesday, and for half an hour on Thursday, any time between 9 and 12. I should be thrilled that the qualify for school-sponsored services, but it sounds like it will cut into anything we plan to do with the kids. And we STILL don't know when they would be going, and I can't stand waiting for someone else to schedule us for me to be able to schedule the rest of the summer. I know, I'm a control freak, but I've accepted that.

The biggest thing the boys need over the summer (and it wouldn't be a bad thing for the little girl either) is to have structure. They can't have unlimited electronic time, they can't stay up late every night, they can't just "hang out" day after day. With that in mind, we have come up with a loose structure for our summer days:

Museum Monday - Every Monday we will venture to a different museum. We live outside of Philadelphia, so there are tons to choose from. Let's see, we have:
  1. The Franklin Institute
  2. Please Touch Museum
  3. Garden State Discovery Museum
  4. Art Museum
  5. Acadamy of Natural Sciences
  6. The Zoo (not technically a museum, but I think it counts)
  7. Brandywine River Museum
  8. Delaware Children's Museum
  9. Morris Arboretum (I've never been there but I've heard good things)
  10. The Helicopter Museum
  11. Crayola Factory
  12. The Elmwood Park Zoo (another that I've not been to but have heard good things)
  13. Independence Seaport Museum
  14. Philadelphia Insectarium (can't say I've ever been here either but I think the kids would love it)

Hmm, that's a pretty good list, especially considering that there are only about ten weeks in the summer!

Totally Terrific Movie Tuesday - Free family movies at Regal Cinemas. Can't beat free!

Wacky Wednesday - This will be our day to try out silly stuff. I'm not sure exactly what those things will be yet, but I have a hunch if we were to have, say, a water balloon fight, it will take place on a Wednesday.

Theater Thursday -We have a fabulous children's theater program nearby, where teenagers work to put together a different, high-quality, children's theater production each week. We all (kids and grown ups) have loved every show we have seen. When I was in high school I did the program for a year or two, and I would not be surprised if our kids end up doing it when they get older. Here's a link to last year's shows. I can't wait to see what shows they'll be doing this summer!

Fun with Friends Friday - As the name implies, every Friday we will attempt to set up playdates for the kids either at our house, at some neutral location (like a park), or at a friends' house.

Sleepy Saturday - Don't know if this one will work every week, but this will be our day to stay in our PJs and make some kind of more labor-intensive breakfast (together) and watch some extra tv.

Super Slide Sunday - Sunday will be our day to seek out different parks in the area. Maybe we'll even create our own playground guide, so we'll first decide how to rate each park and then I'll let them work on the computer to publish something (A is an expert on computers so he can be in charge of this).

And there we have it. We will be creating our Rainy Day alternatives for days when needed, which I will work on later. With the exception of Mondays, and possibly some Fridays, most planned activities will be for the mornings. That will leave the afternoons for the kids to each have their alloted electronic time (normally 15 minutes/kid, may increase somewhat for the summer) and a little down time before heading outside to play with the neighbors, in the sprinkler, riding bikes - basically some regular, unstructured, freeplay time. I'll probably work in some OT activities and Math games designed to have each kid practice their basic facts, but I'll figure out ways to do that where it doesn't seem like work (at least that's my plan).

Do you have plans for the summer yet? What are you doing with YOUR kids?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

If It's Not One Kid, It's Another

J is back in school today, just in time for Pajama Day.

Now it's B's turn to stay home sick. On the plus side, his stomach is fine! My nephew was diagnosed with strep earlier this week, so when B came to me this morning complaining that his throat hurt, I made an appointment immediately for him to get a strep test this morning. It took a looooong time for him to be seen (and they didn't seem that busy, but what do I know), but the nurse told us pretty quickly that his test was positive. They fax prescriptions right over to Rite Aid for us now, so the nurse told us just to head over and wait, that as soon as the doctor is finished with the patient she is currently seeing she would fax it over for us. So after spending an hour (!) at the doctors', we headed to Rite Aid.

And then we waited. And waited. And waited some more. It seems that the doctor had typed B's birthday incorrectly into the computer and when the pharmacist called to find out what was taking so long, the office staff couldn't find any record that we had even been there this morning. They finally found the mistake and corrected it, but needed to wait for the doctor to once again be finished with her current patient to be able to fax it. After waiting another hour (!!) with a little boy who was feeling increasingly worse, we finally got the prescription and headed home.

It's almost 12 o'clock now, so we ended up wasting the whole morning!

Thinking about everything I was able to accomplish while home with J yesterday I'm very disappointed, especially since we are going to have to leave in an hour to pick up both J and DN-J and bring them back here, so I doubt I'll be able to get too much more accomplished with all three home, and then at 3:45 A comes home too. In any case, here's what I'm hoping to do in fifteen minute increments:
  1. More Laundry
  2. Finish the comments of my Religious School Progress Reports
  3. Make those vegetarian lunches I was trying to make yesterday
  4. Clean out the fridge, which somehow got super crowded all of a sudden
  5. At least begin my Preschool Progress Reports

I will once again be updating this as the day goes so I can feel a small sense of accomplishment.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

J and the 15 Minute Day

Sometimes when I have so much to write about I end up writing nothing. I plan the posts in my head as I'm falling asleep or driving in the car, but don't take the time to actually write them. It's foolish of me, because I know how much better I feel to put my thoughts in writing, plus I know how little I remember day to day of my life, so if I don't write it down, it's as if it didn't happen.

This is not an exciting post, but it is what it is.

J is home sick today. She woke yesterday complaining that her stomach hurt. DH's stomach didn't feel so great either so he was already planning on staying home. I doubted if her stomach actually hurt or if she was just hungry (the girl must be going through a growth spurt - she keeps waking up STARVING!) but she was really upset so I told her she could stay home. She vegged on the couch all day with Daddy watching TV, and had to run to the bathroom a couple times with the runs (get it - run/runs? I crack myself up). I got home from school a little after one, and soon after that she threw up. I was very proud - she actually made it to the bathroom! I went to the store to go grocery shopping for the week (a benefit of them both being home together) and she threw up again while I was gone. Things got a little scary after that. She agreed to shut her eyes (!) and actually fell asleep for about an hour (!) on the couch. Out of all three kids, she consistently wakes up miserable from naps, but I figured if she actually agreed to take one, she must REALLY need it. Anyway, she woke up crying (as usual) and soon started screaming in pain, complaining her stomach hurt. This kept up for almost an hour before we called the doctor for advice. Everything worked out okay, it was just "typical" gastro-intestinal pain, but it sure was scary!

Which all brings me to today: J is feeling better, but still needs to be home today just to be sure. And I'm home too. I convinced her that today should be a "fifteen minute day," that we would make a list of what we want to accomplish around the house, set the timer for fifteen minutes and start hitting the list, fifteen minutes of work, five minutes for a break. So far she's excited about it, especially since I have her focused on organizing her room. Is she my daughter or what?!!

Just to make this post super exciting for anyone reading it, here is my list for the day, which I plan to update throughout the day to keep me focused:

  1. Laundry - 3 loads folded and put away, more in both the washer and the dryer
  2. Post three items from J's room on Freecycle done, arrangements have been made for two items to be picked up
  3. Kitchen - unload dishwasher done, clean off counters done
  4. Write sign for DH's b-day for J to color done
  5. Dining Room table - loaded with all kinds of stuff, so let's see if I can clear it all off done
  6. Living Room - it's a mess done
  7. Progress Reports for Religious School - J is one of my students this year, so I told her she can help me write the comments for her report, something like, "J is an amazing student, one of the best this teacher has ever seen...." only have comments left
  8. Progress Reports for Preschool - This will take a while
  9. Go to Dollar Store to get balloons to celebrate DH's birthday (J wants to decorate) not going to happen today - will do on Saturday
  10. Go to produce store to get fruits and vegetable maybe tomorrow?
  11. Make meatloaf for DH's birthday dinner tonight done - made 16 mini loaves (some for tonight and some for lunches) and one big one (for Saturday dinner with the extended family here to celebrate)
  12. Make birthday cake done
  13. Make some vegetarian lunches for myself, like Brown Rice Lentil Salad and Avocado Quinoa Salad - I'm trying to eat more healthy in an effort to lose weight, and I really like vegetarian meals.
  14. Work out with the Wii Fit (I just told you, I'm trying to lose weight!) Ha - not happening today!

I'll be amazed if I get this all accomplished, but we do have until 3:30 when the boys get home to try. It's 10:15 now - here goes!

The boys are now home doing their homework. All in all, I'm really impressed with what I accomplished! Now I'm off to finish washing the dishes I used to make the cake and meatloaves.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I love my timer

I talked a good talk in my last post, didn't I? Oh yeah, I'm committed to writing every day. Blah, blah, blah. Oh well, I missed yesterday, I'm writing today!

Thought I'd share what my afternoons are like. I teach until 1 and then drive home with DN-J, picking up J at whatever house she is at for the day. We have a real piece meal kind of coverage for her until 1, somewhere different every day. Next year when she is in school all day long things will be a lot easier! Any way, after I bring the girls home, I usually give myself some time to read the mail, (both paper and electronic), catch up on FB a little, and then I usually set the timer to allow myself a little time to play my favorite FB games (currently Word Challenge and Tetris are at the top of my list). And then on good days, I get moving.

Today has been a timer kind of day, which seems to be the most efficient for me. I set the timer for me to work for ten minutes and take a break (at the computer) for five minutes.

Here's what I accomplished during each ten minute segment:

  1. Unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher with stuff in the kitchen and around the house

  2. Cleaned off the counters

  3. Cleaned out the fridge (yuck!)

  4. Washed all the mini plastic containers that have been piling up (I consider myself the container queen!)

  5. Made the kids' lunches

And then everything came to a screeching halt when the boys got home. They were whispering about when to tell me something. I knew that either meant that they started making a Mother's Day present at school that was supposed to be kept secret (awww) or one of them had done something wrong. I reminded them that the most important thing is to be honest, that if they're worried about telling me something it's best to just get it over with instead of worrying about it, and finally B cracked. Apparently during science today he had taken a pair of tweezers that had been holding steel wool inside of vinegar and stuck it in his mouth to be silly. It must have tasted awful so he ran to the back of the room to get a drink of water and told the kids around him who saw to not tell the teacher. Of course, one of them did. She found him in the back of the room crying. Understandably, she was angry - not just because he had a problem and tried to hide it from her, but because he put something from a science experiment into his mouth. Luckily it wasn't dangerous this time, but it could have been, so she really wanted to drive home the importance of NOT putting stuff in his mouth. She told him, "You're done," and made him stop the experiment and sit down at his desk. He was sobbing as he told this to me, thinking this meant he was not going to be allowed to do science for the rest of the year.

I decided to call his teacher to hear exactly what happened. She had told him he was finished science for the year (but also pointed out that this is really one more lesson) but asked for me not to let him know what this really meant. She wanted (and I agree) to drive home the mistake he made and make the significance stick.

After that crisis was resolved, then A remembered (with a little help from me) that he lost his electronic time for today because he was on the computer when I came downstairs this morning. Yes, my son is obsessed with Power Point presentations at the moment and every moment wants to make a new one. Lots and lots and lots of whining later, that crisis was resolved.

And now we're off to meet up with my parents for dinner to celebrate the one year anniversary of my mom quitting smoking. What a day!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I Should Be Committed

The cat is loudly purring at my feet, banging his entire body into me every once in awhile so I will stop what I'm doing and pet him. J and DN-J are playing together upstairs, and neither is crying or screaming for me at the moment. And so my work time begins.

I have been writing so many wonderful posts in my head. You'll have to take my word for them since I never wrote them down in this blog and now they're gone forever. One of the biggest problems with having very little memory is that if I don't write it down, it's out of my head. I might remember for a week, sometimes more if I retell the event or funny thing that happened to one or two other people, but that's about it. So once again I am reminded how important it is for me to write things that happen in this blog.

I feel like I have to keep reminding myself that this is, first and foremost, for me. Yes, I love having all of you read (and comment!), but the main purpose is for me to have a place to record my life so I can look back and remember what happened.

With that in mind, I'm recommitting to writing in here every day. It won't be exciting all the time, it might not even be interesting, but it needs to happen if I'm to get back in the habit.

As for today, the main thing I'm thinking about is how crazy this time of day is. I'm caught up on email and FB, have eaten my lunch, the girls are playing, and I have exactly one hour before the boys get home. One hour to: sort and put in some laundry, clean out the fridge and pick something to make for dinner, unload and reload the dishwasher, clear off the dining room table, and . . . fill in the blank. It's a lot to do, and I know there's not much time to do it, so I better push myself to get moving NOW!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Typical Day

7:00 Alarm goes off.
I hit the snooze as it continues to go off in nine minute increments.

7:45 Stumble out of bed. All three kids are playing in the boys room - I open the door and tell them to hurry up and get dressed. Throw clothes on myself and hurry downstairs. Make the kids' breakfast. Make the kids' lunches. Go back upstairs three more times to physically remove things from A's hands so he can remember that he is supposed to be getting dressed. Remind J that she is not to pull the cat on her lap and then when he scratches her, clean the cut.
Make breakfast and lunch for myself and eat said breakfast while pushing the kids to eat, clean up, and brush their teeth.

8:10 Go into hyper mode to get the kids out the door.

8:22 Pull car out of driveway. We missed the bus yet again, so I rush the boys to their school and then rush J to her school so I can then rush me to my school.

8:35 Arrive at my school and begin setting up classroom for the day ahead.

I will not go into all the details of the day - that's a post for another time - but here's the quick summary:
Journals, paint, trains, Passover, songs, Circle Time, calendar, Matzah and bread comparisons, bathroom journeys, snack, clean up, coats, outside, school bags, dismissal, lunch, play, clean up, dismissal number 2.

1:05 Drive DN-J over to my friend's house to pick up J (she picks her up from kindergarten and watches her on Tuesdays until I'm done work) and then drive both girls home.

1:45 Arrive at home. Direct J to go through her After School Routine (hang up coat, lunch box in kitchen, bring papers to me, do homework if she has any) and push them outside to play (it's finally a nice day).

2:00 Take a break! I drink my one can of Coke for the day and get caught up on FB.

2:15 Blog this post (and help J with her belt buckle, redirect an escalating fight betweent the girls, answer ten questions, and "ooo and aaa" over J's picture for me)

2:30 Tackle as much of the following To Do List as I can:
  1. Put in a new load of laundry and transfer yesterday's load into the dryer.
  2. Start tonight's dinner (Beef Stir Fry) cooking on the stovetop.
  3. Unload and reload dishwasher.
  4. Clear off kitchen counters.
  5. Prep tomorrow night's dinner (J's birthday! We will have family over for dinner, my ILs, my parents, my BIL, my niece and nephew, a total of about thirteen or so - J's pick of chicken nuggets for the kids, my pick of Thai Chicken for the grownups. Hope it's good!)

3:15 Put girls in car so we can drive to Giant and pick up J's birthday treat to share with her class tomorrow (Jello - don't ask me, it's what she wants), chicken nuggets for dinner, cake mix and icing (yeah, I'll make it, but not quite from scratch)

3:35 Pick up boys from their bus stop. Give all four kids a snack and then drive DN-J home (about 25-30 minutes round trip).

4:20 J's dance class - While J dances, A and B do their homework and I do everything short of standing on my head to keep them doing their homework.

5:40 Home. Eat dinner and then allow the boys to have some electronic time (they get 15 minutes a day).

6:30 (or so) Begin getting everyone ready for bed.

7:00 (hopefully) Everyone in bed/Quiet Time (they can read or talk quietly in bed)

7:30 (give or take) Lights Out

7:31, 7:33, 7:35, 7:37, etc. Send J back up to her room

8:00 Collapse on couch to watch some TV and fold the laundry and . . . whatever else I am able to do that requires little thought or energy.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I like to sing. When the kids were a lot younger, they used to look up at me adoringly while I sang to them. It was heaven - a captive audience who loved every note I sang.

Then they got a little older. Suddenly my operatic voice made them hold their ears. Luckily I knew not to take it personally (some people have paid to hear me sing) but it still was frustrating to not be able to sing things I wanted to sing. I sucked it up and picked new things to sing, but slowly began introducing some of my favorite songs into our bedtime routine.

Being around kids all the time (both my own and in my preschool class) I find myself singing ALL the time. And it doesn't have to be a real song - I'm forever changing words to fit the situation. Sometimes the words work out, sometimes they don't, but singing, "It's Circletime. Oh, yes, it's Circletime" to the tune of "Suppertime" seems to always get the kids moving to our circle rug.

I've taken my songwriting "abilities" and applied them to our bedtime lullabies.* Here are some of our favorites:

Dreamland (Sung to "Over the Rainbow")

Somewhere out there in Dreamland

Dreams do come true

If you want to go to Dreamland

Hush, I'll tell you what to do

Just lay your head and close your eyes

And soon you'll be flying high in Dreamland

Close your eyes and go to sleep

Even if you count some sheep

You'll be flying high in Dreamland

Somewhere out there in Dreamland

Dreams do come true

Go to sleep so you can discover

How to make all your dreams come true


Sing Me A Song (Sung to "Piano Man")

One night J looked up at me and said, "Sing me a song, Mommy" and "Piano Man" just popped into my head.

I'll sing you a song

I'm your Mommy

I'll sing you a song tonight

It's short and it's sweet and it'll lull you to sleep

So close your eyes and start to doze

La, di, da, di di da, etc.



Sleepytime (Sung to "Summertime" from Porgy and Bess)

I have always loved this song and have sung it in concerts and at auditions many times, long before Fantasia sang it on American Idol.


It's time to go to sleep now

Yes, it's gettin' dark

It's time to close your eyes

So lay your weary head

Right on your pillow

'Cause morning will come soon

So go to sleep


Go To Sleep (Sung to "Lullaby" - I'm not sure what the real name is, but it's the traditional lullaby song, "Lullaby, and good night ....")

This is my desparate song, the one I sing on the days I begin counting down for bedtime by noon, the one I sing when my head is pounding, they're all still talking, I still have a load of laundry to fold and lunches to make before I collapse; I'm sure you know the kind of nights I'm talking about.

Go to sleep

Go to sleep

Please, please, go to sleep now

Close your eyes

Close your mouths

Please, please go to sleep

If you don't

I don't know

But I might start to scream

So go to sleep

Go to sleep

Please, please go to sleep.

* In case anyone is actually still reading this blog and actually likes my lyrics, you're welcome to use them and/or link to them on your blog. Just please remember to make note of the fact that I am the author. Thanks!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Menu Planning

I didn't get to begin Menu Planning until now, so dinner tonight is pizza.

Tuesday will be that darn stew that I have all the ingredients for and just haven't made. Yet again.

Wednesday - Thai Chicken (in the slow cooker, of course)

Yes, I know I had this on my plan three weeks ago, and again on my plan two weeks ago when I said I didn't follow my plan three weeks ago. Yes, that means I didn't make it then either. Sue me!

Thursday - Mini Quiche

Made this two weeks ago and all three kids LOVED it!

Friday - Potluck Shabbat Dinner - Vegetarian Entree of Corn and Black Bean Salad

Saturday - Mish Mash/Leftovers

Sunday - Pizza at a fundraiser at our synagogue at which the kids and I will be performing.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Works For Me Wednesday

Here is a very quick, often requested, kid's lunch.
All you need are:
1 small container of ketchup

1 small container of pretzels

1 small container with a cut up hot dog

And there you have it - make your own "Hot Dog Dippers." Put the lids on each container and pack. The kids will use the pretzels like toothpicks to poke a piece of hot dog, dip it in the ketchup, and eat.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - Take Two

Apparently, while I am an exceptional menu planner, I suck at menu plan following. I planned out what I considered to be a terrific plan last week. Ask me if I did even one of the recipes? Go on, you know you want to. The answer is: NOPE!

There were lots of reasons. Monday was Presidents' Day and we all had off from school. We had the kids go to a local kids' gym for their "holiday camp" (a.k.a. 5 hours of running around the Fun Factory in an attempt to burn off lots and lots of energy) while DH and I hung out at a local independent coffee house, each of us working on our laptops. It wasn't until we headed home that I remembered my plan had been to make stew, something that should have been cooking all day. Oops. We had pizza bagels on Monday.

Tuesday the boys didn't get off their bus, requiring me to track them down (they were on the bus, just too distracted to notice their stop), causing them to get home late, causing me to have to rush everyone into the car so we could drive DN-J home and come back in time to bring J to her dance class and set up the boys on the floor of the dance studio to do their homework so I could simultaneously watch J dance, keep B focused on completing his math hw, and force A to stop looking at some lady's cell phone as she texts someone else so he could complete his spelling. Because the boys didn't get off their bus, I didn't get to cook the fish that I was planning to make before dance class, which meant when her class was over at 5:30, there was no way everyone would survive me pulling together dinner when we got home. Since the class is right next door to McDonald's, I bet you guessed what we had for dinner that night.

The list goes on. I had a migraine one night so the kids ended up with PB and H (peanut butter and honey for those of you who don't know). DH was late and I was overwhelmed with work, so hello, frozen fishsticks. And on.

However. This is the beginning of a new week. Please refer to last week's menu plan. I'm ending this post now so I can get the makings of the beef stew into the crock pot now so it will be ready to go in the morning. No slacking off this week!

Friday, February 19, 2010

100th Day

Today was our 100th day of school.

For those of you who do not teach young children, let me tell you - this is a BIG deal!

We've been counting every day of school since our very first day together. It is a favorite part of Circle Time. The "counters" helper for the day will help count the craft sticks: first we count the ones, and when we reach 10 they get bundled together to make a ten which then goes into the tens jar. Then I go to our number line (small index cards stapled to the wall, blank until I write that day's number on it) and write the number while describing to the kids how I'm writing it (ex. for 31 - "A little curve, then another little curve, and now a big line.") Today we counted our ones, bundled the ten sticks together and put that bundle into the ten jar, and THEN counted all of our tens and bundled them together and placed them in our brand new hundreds jar. Very exciting stuff!

I taught the kids a new song, one that I take no credit for as I found it online with no name attached to it:

100 Days of School sung to The Ants Go Marching 1 By 1

We've all been counting 1 by 1 - Hurrah! Hurrah!
We've all been counting, oh what fun - Hurrah! Hurrah!
We've all been counting 1 by 1,
And now 100 days are done,
Hooray! Today's the 100th day of school!

We started counting up to 10 - Hurrah! Hurrah!
To 20, 30, 40 then - Hurrah! Hurrah!
To 50, 60, 70 then, to 80, 90, now is when,
Hooray! Today's the 100th day of school!

How cute is that?!! After we learned it we began marching around the room, parade-style, as we sang, pumping our fists high in the air each time we shouted "Hurrah!"

It just so happened that our 100th day of school ended up on a Friday, a very busy day in a Jewish preschool. One activity we do every Friday is each child makes their own challah to bring home. Today our challahs were the number 100. We cut everyone's dough into three "snakes" like usual, and then everyone used their snakes to create a 1 and two zeroes.

We also had a special snack. Everyone received a quarter of a graham cracker and one Oreo and used them to create the number 100.

Hard to believe it's been 100 days. Some days the 100 days have seemed to drag on, but most days (luckily) they have flown by.

Any other teachers or parents reading this have any 100 day activities to report?


Driving DN-J home most every day creates an amazing opportunity to talk with all three kids. The other day the boys started telling me what they learned this week about Chinese New Year. B described that one custom was to sweep the dust on the front step or porch away from the house in order to get rid of bad luck.

"That's a superstition," I explained, only to be bombarded with the question of what a superstition was by all the kids at once. "A superstition," I began, "is something that some people believe to be true and it usually involves good luck or bad luck." I tried to think of an easy example for them. "For example, some people think the number 13 is unlucky, and that Friday the 13th is especially unlucky."

"Do you mean triskadekaphobia?" B asks.

Yeah, I know. My jaw dropped, too.

"Um, what does that mean?"

"The fear of the number 13," B replied matter-of-factly. Yeah, of course, should have guessed.

Now before you get too impressed, when I asked B where he had learned such a big word, he answered the same way he has been answering every time some one asks him where he learned something really impressive. School? His parents? No, of course not.

"Watching Fetch with Ruff Ruffman." You know, the tv show. On the one hand, I'm thilled he remembered and was able to apply this interesting fact to our conversation. On the other hand, what, his father and I are both teachers - do we teach him NOTHING?!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

I got a bunch of meat already cut up for stew last week on sale. This recipe was on the Organizing Junkie's website under "Family Favorite Recipes" so I figured we would give it a try.

Salmon was also on sale last week, but I never got around to making this recipe. I love and will often pick recipes from there to make for all kinds of occasions. I make sure to pick out ones that have been reviewed by lots of people AND have at least four and a half stars.

Wednesday: Easy Mini Quiche
Another Allrecipes new one.

Thursday: Thai Chicken

Another one from Organizing Junkie's website.

Friday: Shabbat dinner at my parents' house - we bring a cooked vegetable.

Saturday: Mish Mash (a.k.a. leftovers)

Sunday: Dinner at my IL's

Valentine's Day

I don't believe in Valentine's Day.

There. I've said it.

I know it's pretty ironic if you read my last post, but that was all about my kids and wanting to make sure they kind of fit in at school. They couldn't be the ONLY one in each of their classes to NOT have cards to give out.

A few days ago I decided to spell it out to DH. "Honey," I said, "I love you and I know you love me. I don't need a bunch of overpriced flowers on Valentine's Day for you to prove it to me. We can still be lovey-dovey on that day, if you really want, but let's not really celebrate it this year."

He was fine with it, but still needed to clarify, "That means no cards either, right?"

"Absolutely. However - if you want to get me flowers any other day of the year, I'll fully support the gesture."

While I don't really think he is going to pick up on that hint (but if by chance he's reading this, please remember that you can get the best deal on flowers at Produce Junction, not pre-packaged at the grocery store) he did figure out a very romantic way for us to celebrate. Currently he is at McDonald's with all three kids feeding them Happy Meals. I am enjoying this momentary silence (ahhh) by blogging, reading other people's blogs, and of course, playing Tetris on Facebook. When he brings them home, I will get them ready for bed while he goes out to pick up Chinese food for the two of us to enjoy after the kids are in bed. He even picked out some romantic comedy for us to watch to watch together. Do I have a good guy or what?!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Crafty Cards

I hate boxed Valentine's Day cards. It's just a personal pet peeve of mine. I just can't stand how commericalize and impersonal they are. So this year I was thrilled that I managed to convince all three kids (and DH, who is always concerned that the kids will end up doing something so different from everyone else they will end up getting picked on) to pick a Valentine card to make to give out to their class.

J selected an idea from Family Fun magazine. We started working on it last week since she wanted to trace and cut out all the hearts (3 per Valentine) and leaves herself. I put the flowers together while J wrote the to and from on each and every leaf.
A found a different idea in the same magazine. I gave him some of my old scrapbooking paper to use and he started writing "We're Two of a kind!" on every card. After many mess-ups we soon realized that we could print out labels for him to peel and attach, which made life SO much easier. In the picture below he is giving a thumbs up to the camera.
B adapted a couple different ideas to create his splatter paint hearts.
I love that they all picked something different. I also love that we had a snow day yesterday (oh yeah, another two feet on top of the two feet we got on Saturday) so I got the chance to work with each child one at a time (something that unfortunately rarely seems to happen). I don't love the fact that we have another snow day today, the day that their Valentine's Day parties were supposed to happen (oh yeah, it was LOT of snow) but at least the parties have all been rescheduled for Tuesday, the next day the kids are in school.
I feel so crafty!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

I Like to Move It, Move It

Amazing the difference drugs can make!

Slept in a little this morning (had tons of snow yesterday so did not have to teach today) but came downstairs at a reasonable time. For some reason I put off taking my meds, so the need to sleep soon overwhelmed me and I crept back upstairs to take a nap. I finally got up (okay, with a LOT of prodding from DH), came back downstairs, and took my pills. I was still tired so I decided to read a new book. DH got ready to take the kids to my ILs (their Sunday ritual) so I went back to bed with my book. Had I not taken my medication, I would have been asleep after the first chapter. Since I did take my medication, I was able to finish the whole book (what can I say - I'm a fast reader) and am still wide awake.

Better living through chemistry - I'm living proof!

And now I have three kid-free hours in the house until DH comes back to pick me up and drive me over to the ILs for dinner. The silence sounds incredible. I do not want to waste this time like I did yesterday, so here's my plan:
  1. Pull out the Wii Fit Plus and work out. I have been doing this every day just about, and I truly love it (never thought I'd say that about exercising!), but I HATE doing it in front of an audience. I like to make my own decisions about what exercise or activity to do next and not have to explain myself to the multiple kids sitting on the couch watching me succeed or fail.
  2. Organize the multitude of coupons I have ripped out of various circulars and plan out a detailed shopping list for tomorrow. I really want to get skilled at using coupons to cut down on what we spend at the grocery store. I have found a couple blogs to look to for advice (please share more with me if you have a favorite or two) and am really excited to hopefully get good at this.
  3. Laundry. And more laundry. And then some more laundry.
  4. Write my newsletter for school and send it out. Normally I write up the highlights of what we all did this week in preschool, including things I observed (like a child spontaneously comforting another child, or 3 kids working cooperatively to complete an activity), and include some of the tons of photographs I took as documentation. Unfortunately, I accidently left my camera at school on Friday, so my newsletter will include a simple apology and in theory will be quicker and a little easier to write.
  5. Revise and update my preschool plans. We're in the middle of a three week unit on Fairy Tales ("Fairy Tale February") which began last week with Jack and the Beanstalk, the perfect way to transition from Tu B'Shevat into fairy tales. However with over two feet of snow that fell yesterday, I think we need to figure out some ways to work the snow into the unit.

That's probably all the time I will have, but if I do end up with some extra time (doubtful) I'll be tackling the paper monster that is all around me at the moment. But that is a post for another day. As for now, the Wii Balance Board is calling me, something I can hear very clearly with no other sound in the house.

Friday, February 05, 2010

My Eyelids are Heavy

First of all, even after baring my soul (so to speak) in my last post, I still failed. Another frantic morning ensued.

Secondly, I have been messing with the look of this blog a lot recently. I even went so far as to set up a blog on wordpress because I heard so many good things about how much easier they are to customize, but I still can't get the look I really, really want with either of them. I spent many, many, many, many hours searching through Wordpress forums and FAQs and websites that offered free headers and templates before I finally discovered that I had to go to (not dot com) to be able to customize the blog to fit my needs and wants precisely, and that would cost money. As you can see, I'm back here at Blogger. I realized that it doesn't really matter what my blog looks like as much as what it says. Even after all the hours and hours I put into a new look, I still had not posted anything new. And that kind of defeats the whole purpose of having a blog in the first place. So, back to the basics for me.

Thirdly, today we got snow. LOTS and LOTS of snow. So much snow that when J went outside she sunk in it up to her waist. And that was before it had finished snowing. I think our final total is around 27 inches. I had all day stuck inside today. And I did nothing. Well, I played a lot of Tetris. But that's about it. I had so much I could have worked on, so much that needs attention, but instead I sat on my butt on the computer for most of the day. Part of the problem is I skipped taking all my meds this morning. One of the most important things I take is a medication that helps with my Narcolepsy. You can always tell when I haven't taken it; I crave sleep more than you'd think is possible. All I want to do is go back to bed. And it doesn't really matter how much I sleep. I wake up and will do anything I can to get five more minutes. I'm sure many of you are reading (all right, I know the "many of you" part is optimistic, but I think I still have at least a few readers out there) this thinking that this sounds like you. And maybe it does. But I know one of the defining aspects of my Narcolepsy is the fact that if you give me those "five more minutes" I will be back asleep in under ten seconds. And when I wake (be it five minutes or two more hours) I will still do anything to be able to go back to sleep.

I was describing to a friend recently the difference in being tired after teaching all morning with the meds and without. As I drive home now I can acknowledge how tired I am and still think about how much I'm craving my can of Coke (I allow myself one a day) at home and how I need to throw in that load of laundry before I work out so it'll be finished at the same time as I am. Before I had the meds, or if I skip a day, I would sometimes have to close my eyes at the red lights and tell my daughter to let me know when it turns green. I know, I'm not proud of that, but I never fell asleep while driving - I always waited til the red lights.

In any case, I'm heading upstairs to bed now. Tomorrow is a new day and I will not waste it.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Where's My Sticker Chart?

Last night as I shed my clothes and crawled into bed, feeling the warmth of the down comforter and my sleeping husband soon envelope me, I gave a huge sigh of relief to finally be in bed and at the same time began cursing myself for once again staying up way too late. It doesn't matter what I tell myself; I do this every night. It's a really vicious cycle and I'm (excuse the pun) tired of it.

After the kids are in bed and dinner is cleaned up, I finally get the chance to sit on the couch, turn on the TV, play some more Tetris on Facebook, and just relax. And that's fine. There is nothing wrong with relaxing. The problem comes when it becomes time to stop simply "relaxing" and actually go upstairs to bed.

I just don't do it.

Hmmm....I wonder what else is on TV.

I am just soooo comfortable right here on the couch.

I just have to beat her score in Tetris. Just one more game.

And before I know it, it is midnight. Or later. And we all have school in the morning.

I fall asleep quickly (hey, narcolepsy does have some benefits!) but way too soon I hear the kids talking in the hallway or in their rooms. The official rule is they have to stay in their beds until the clock radio turns on, our solution to the three of them waking up WAY too early every day, but they have been really testing the limits of that rule, and the sound of them playing before any alarm goes off in the morning has been getting louder and earlier every day. Because I was up so late I don't want to get out of bed. I'm legitamitely tired, and sleep deprivation definitely does not help, so I try to put the covers over my ears and go back to sleep. I usually can do this immediately (again, narcolepsy, not all bad) but only for bursts of five to ten minutes when my personal snooze alarms walk in and out of my room: "I'm dressed!" "Can I watch TV before breakfast?" "He hit me!" "I can't find my shoes!" I wake enough to address each issue (Good. No. Tell him NOT to hit you. Where did you leave them?) and then go back to sleep before needing to handle the next emergency.

When I wake up again, it's late, which means the kids are late, which means I'll be late, which means I have to run around like a crazy person to get everyone out the door, drive all three to school, and then get myself to my school where I now have to run around in half the time I need to prep my classroom before all the kids come rushing in, eager to have my complete and total attention.

I don't like this at all. It's not fair to my kids, it's not fair to my body, and it's definitely not fair to my sanity.

Thinking like a teacher, I believe I need some kind of behavioral modification. Maybe some kind of positive reinforcement system, like every night I'm in bed by ____ I can ____. Just don't know what that should be yet.

And of course, after teaching until 1, picking up J at my parents' and helping her with her Kindergarten homework before guiding J and my niece into some kind of cooperative play, I'm just too tired to think about it anymore.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fresh Start

One of the things I love about being Jewish is the fact that we get two New Year's. Rosh Hashana normally comes in September, which, as a teacher, is a fresh start too. So I've got September, I've got January 1st, and I've got my birthday in April. Three fresh starts every year. It should be enough. It never is.

I'm trying, I really am. Since December I have been working out on my Wii Fit Plus almost every day. I am so proud of myself for that! I come home from school every day about 1:30 with the girls in tow. And then I go upstairs, put on my workout clothes, come down, pull out that balance board and get moving. I work out between thirty minutes to an hour every day. Considering that it has been a long, long time since I have done any exercising, I figure even if I'm not working out hard enough, anything is better than nothing. And I really LIKE it - I have fun doing the different activities, even if they make me end up sweating like a pig. Unfortunately, I still have only lost about two pounds. Don't get me wrong; I'm finally feeling the difference in many of the muscles in my body. Even my stomach is starting to feel toned! But I'm still really big. When I take J to dance class and walk by the wall covered with mirrors, I'm always horrified when I catch a glimpse of myself. I look so much bigger than I feel. The Wii measures my BMI every time I workout. I am significantly overweight. I need to lose more than thirty pounds. Clearly just working out is not cutting it. So I need to start focusing on what I eat more and more. I have used Sparkpeople before to keep track of what I eat, watching the calories and making sure I get enough protein, and even though I'll do great during the day, it seems that by the evening I will always do something to sabotage myself. I have to stop doing that!

Looking back at how things were growing up, I think it is so ironic that I have a weight problem. I was anorexic from seventh grade until eleventh grade. I ate just enough to survive, made sure I could always see my ribs when I stepped out of the shower, did what I could to keep my weight below one hundred. I can remember how it felt in tenth grade to not be able to sit on the wooden stage because the bones in my butt were not cushioned enough. Suffice it to say I don't have that problem anymore.

Some days I wish I could just go back to the way things were back then. It sure is the easiest way to lose way - just don't eat. But I'm a mom now, and my kids, especially my daughter, watch what I eat. How could I explain what I was doing to them? I need to show them how to eat in a healthy way. Which means I need to be eating in a healthy way and I need to get to a healthy weight. I don't want that Wii Fit voice to say, "That's overweight." anymore.

So this is my fresh start. I know, it's not any of my regular times during the year to get that fresh start, but I'm declaring it here and now. My goal is to lose the weight. At one pound a week, I should lose ten pounds by my birthday in April, two pounds a week would be a twenty pound loss. I'm ready. Here I go.