Monthly Archives: April 2010

ugg!

I am so frustrated today (and almost every other day right now).

Sunday night I drove back to St. Louis from Nevada, MO.  A nearly 5 hour drive that I made in the pouring rain with my boys in the backseat.  We got home around 11pm.  I got everything together to head to school the next morning.  I was ready to enact some of the things I learned in the Beth Moore simulcast I attended on Saturday (will post about that later this week) but when I went to get the boys out of bed Bubba had a fever (mild but still) and was coughing up his lungs.

For all practical purposes I am a single mom during the week.  No one else can stay home with the boys so I called in for a sub.  Under the absence selection I checked “family illness” because I wasn’t sick my kid was sick.  We go about our day with extra naps and cuddling.  Monday night, I get everything ready for school on Tuesday.

Like normal, we are out the door by 6:30 am.  By 7:15 the boys are at daycare/preschool and I am in my classroom getting ready for the day.  I am looking forward to a “cool math lab” (I know that phrase probably doesn’t make sense but I don’t care).  In my head I am singing “this is the day that the Lord has made.  i will rejoice and be glad in it!” and I am trying to stay positive.

By 8:15 i have had 2 students go off on me.  1. yelled at me to leave her alone when I tell her to get to class after the bell has rung.  2. went off on me because I told him to leave the stuff on my desk alone.

I tweet that I love my job if only to psyche myself up.  My second block arrives and, like usual, they do and say whatever they want to each other and me.  It is chaos and very little teaching and learning has taken place in all year with that group of kids (maybe I will post on that later).  I try to remind myself to offer grace, love, and forgiveness to those that need it most.  That is not working out for me right now, though.

At 9:30 I get a call from the boys school saying that Dude now has a fever is acting sick.  I need to come get him.  I call my principal to get a sub and by 10 am one shows up.  I go pick up the boys.  Napping and cuddling resume after a dose of Ibuprofen.

After lunch I check my school email (trying to make sure none of my lovely students got suspended after I left) and I have an email saying my sick time yesterday would be unpaid because I had already used all of my family illness days. 

I have 10 sick days left.  Nowhere am I able to check whether they are family illness days or personal illness days.  And honestly who cares if it is me or my kids, really.  I start every school year with 18 sick days.  Who is actually sick 10% of their contracted work days?  It really sucks that I can only use 5 of those days for my children. 

I am mad.  I am frustrated. I want to cry.

This has been a really tough school year. 
Personally, my life is in disarray.   Hubs is across the state.  I live with my parents.  My stuff is spread out in four different places.
Professionally, I feel like a failure.  Daily, I am abused by my students as well as their parents.  I don’t feel supported by my administration.  I work really hard to be at the front with my use of technology and teaching methods yet I have very little show for it.

Why didn’t I quit at the semester?  I had a perfect “out”  but I stayed because it was the right thing to do.  I signed a contract.  I am a teacher.  I am a rule follower.  I keep my commitments.

I feel like I made a mistake.  Today, I got punched in the gut.  It sucks.

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Angel Baby

Today would have been Sarah’s 6th birthday. 

I don’t feel overwhelmed with sadness today like I did the last five birthdays.  My grandma, who lost a baby in a similar way 50 years ago, told me every year would get easier.  Grandma was right but now I feel guilty for my lack of tears. 

But as I think about all the blessings in my life that have been showered on me in the last six years I do feel tears.  My precious baby girl taught me so much about love, perspective, and compassion.  If Sarah would have been born healthy, I am not sure we would have Bubba or Dude. 

 It has been SIX years since I held Sarah.  Six years since she made her mark on my heart.  Six years…

This birthday I am filled with questions. 

How am I supposed to feel?  I don’t know.
Is it wrong that I am rejoicing for my blessings and not crying for my loss?  I don’t think so… I hope that I have a better perspective of all of the great things in my life.
Do I feel a void without my daughter, my first child?  There is something there that aches for her but I don’t think I feel anything less.  This is the first year that I don’t feel like I failed her because I carried a baby to term and didn’t know she wasn’t a healthy baby.
How will I feel if I ever get pregnant with a daughter?  Actually, I am scared to have another daughter.  I am afraid that I will be “replacing” Sarah and I don’t want to do that, ever.

She was my perfect baby.  She was a blessing.  She moved me.  She showed me that I really wanted to be a mom.

I miss her.

And now I am crying.

Later, I will tell you Sarah’s story.  My “blessings” are begging for food and starting to destroy things.

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things we tell our kids

Let me start by saying I LOVE BEING A PARENT and usually, I love being a teacher.  (Please note that I am shouting about my love for parenting.  I love it to a greater degree than teaching  – which I am pretty sure is okay but sometimes I think I am a bad teacher for not LOOOOOVVVVVING it all of the time.)

Anyway, I have heard people say that they hate it when adults lie to children. 

At first I was like “Who’s lying to kids?” 

Then I thought “Anyone that lies to kids is evil!”

But then I realized…
I lie to my kids ALL OF THE TIME

 

I lie about Santa Claus (and I am sorry if I just ruined the lie for you.)
I lie about the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy (again… sorry I just ruined it for you.)
I lie when I tell my kids I have “work to do” after they go to bed when really I am face-booking.
I lie to my students when I tell them i am going to call their parents (although that threat hardly works anyway)

 

Here is the worst lie I have told to a child this week…

 

Please don’t judge me….

 

Please don’t hotline me…

 

Please help me…

 

This weekend I told my 4 and a half-year old, Bubba, that if he was still sucking his thumb at age 5…

Oh, I am so ashamed of myself….

 

But I don’t know what else to do…

 

I told him that if he didn’t stop sucking his thumb before his 5th birthday the “THUMB SUCKING POLICE” would come

and …

and…

 

Believe me when I am tell you that I am not a horrible mom, I promise.

 

I told Bubba that the “Thumb Sucking Police” would cut both of his thumbs off if he didn’t stop sucking them before his 5th birthday.

 

There, I have confessed.  I should feel better. 
But HE BELIEVES ME!!!! 
AND IT IS WORKING!!!!
Bubba is trying to break his thumb-sucking habit.

 

So tell me, do you lie to children?  What lies you have told your kids?  How did you feel?  How did they respond?  Is it wrong to lie to kids?

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family

I am sitting at the kitchen table watching my mom and her sisters prepare for a big party.  Tomorrow we will be celebrating my grandparent’s 60th wedding anniversary.  My mom is the middle of six children- she has two older brothers, one older sister, an angel baby brother, and one younger sister.  There are 13 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.  Everyone is scattered across the country from New York to Idaho; from Michigan to Texas.  This weekend everyone will come to celebrate my grandparents’ devotion to each other.

60 years!!!

It is amazing to me that, when more than 40% of marriages end in divorce, my grandparents have been happily married for 60 years.  My other set of grandparents was married longer than that before my papa passed.  My parents have been married for 35 years.  I am so fortunate to have such great marriage role models.  Hubs and I have been married for nearly nine years.

My two aunts came into town early to help prepare for the celebration.  As I listen to my mom and her sisters visit, tease, laugh, bicker, and remember I feel as if I am listening to my sister and I do the same.  I am refreshed by their relationship; by their bond.  Despite the hundreds of miles that separate these women, they are united by something strong.  It is the same strength that has united my grandparents for so many years.  It is the same thing keeping hubs and I together despite living so far apart.  And I know it is the same thing that will keep my family and me together when we no longer live in the same subdivision, zip code or even area code.  It is a bond of love and trust.  It understands, forgives, nurtures, and encourages.

In less than 9 weeks I will be moving away from all I know.  I am excited.  I am terrified.  But I know, after watching the preparations for this celebration, that even when things change, my family will stay the same.

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different world

I am not old.  In fact I am still 22 days from my 30s (but that is for a different post).  But I was raised in a completely different world.

When I first started teaching middle school, in 2004, I got an email from my principal with statistics about our incoming 6th graders.  It said that this group of kids had never lived in a world without cable tv, the internet, or cell phones.  Well,  I haven’t either.  I grew up in the same time-generation-whatever you call it as my students.

However, I feel like I am living in a whole different world.  I will admit I had a pretty comfortable upbringing.  I am pretty fortunate.  My parents love each other and are still married.  I always had clothes that fit and were clean (but that is because my mom taught me how to do the laundry – again, for another post).  My dad packed me a lunch everyday and my mom fixed dinner every night (simple but good).  We went on vacation every summer (nothing extravagant just to the lake).  My parents taught me to work hard and held me accountable while rewarding my success (not in a material way – yet another post).  I always knew that I was loved and would be taken care of.

This year I am really struggling with this – coming from such a different place than my students.  Here education is secondary.  Survival is a priority.  Learning how to fight seems to be more important than learning how to multiply. 

I know I am supposed to be a teacher. 
I am pretty sure I am supposed to be a middle school math teacher. 
I thought I was supposed to teach at-risk kids. 

Now I am not so sure.  Maybe moving to a small town will be different. 

Will there be poverty?  No doubt.
Will there be drugs and violence?  Hubs would be unemployed if there weren’t.
Will it be different?  Probably not.

Am I ready to move?  Today, the answer is yes. 
Tomorrow, things will be different.  Tomorrow, I will feel like I am making a difference.

Oh,wait… tomorrow is Friday. 

Things are always better on Friday. 

And if they aren’t better, there’s always happy hour a BS.

Do you ever question if you are in the right place/job?  How do you renew your passion?  How do you know you are making a difference?  If you don’t know, why do you stay?

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i am what i have eaten

As I sit on my planning time munching on a piece of chocolate, I realize I have eaten almost a whole bag of Hershey’s miniatures since Monday.  That is in addition to all the other crap I have consumed in my post MAP testing – buying a house – living 400 miles from my husband with two crazy sons week. 

I AM AN EMOTIONAL EATER!! 
There.  I said it.  You know my weakness right up front.

In the last 9 months I have done even worse.  I weigh more today than I did the days I gave birth to Sarah, Bubba, or Dude (not all combined but it could come close!).  My clothes don’t fit.  My skin is not great.  I don’t feel attractive enough for Hubs.  I have become fat and I jiggleEverything hurts – my back, my knees, my pride, my gut from my waistband being too tight. I don’t like being this way.

Since Hubs left for Nevada (said Nuh vA (long a) duh) in July I have put on a ton of weight (about 30 lbs to give you a ball park figure).  I have used the excuse that I have been stressed (YES I AM STRESSED!!) but really I’m just lazy.  I drive through when I could slice and dice.  I grab candy off the counter when there is fresh (and clean) fruit in the fridge.  I sit on the couch watch TV with an elliptical machine looking over my shoulder.

I am lonely.  I need accountability.  I need to say know when my kids ask for junk instead of being glad that they want McDonald’s for dinner.  I need to get motivated.

I have a goal weight. (ideal is 135. reasonable is 150. realistic is 165.  OMG! I am telling the world what I want to weigh which means you all can figure out how far I have really let myself go!)  I have decided on my rewards (shoes, clothes, another tattoo. a nose ring).   I know what to do, I know how to get there, I know why I should.  Yet I can’t seem to get started.

WHY??? 

Do you struggle with this?  How have you gotten going with a healthy lifestyle.  Who holds you accountable?

Will you help me?

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Blogging Take 2

The last blog I started, I had too high of ambitions.  Going to start smaller.  Write what I want, when I want.  I am not going to be “famous” like The Pioneer Woman and that is okay. 

Here I am… I hope you love me despite my frayed edges.

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