Wednesday, May 30, 2012

that's how many hours it is until i can put another school year in the books.
at the risk of sounding repetitive, this year has probably been the best year of all from a teaching perspective: amazing kids... awesome co-workers... incredible friends.

i know i've said this before (in not-so-many-words)...it's going to be really hard to say goodbye to this group of kids because they've been so ridiculously off-the-charts wonderful.

i'm going to be sad to see them moving on to bigger, better things...and i will worry about some of them this summer. summer is supposed to be fun and worry-free, but it isn't always that way for some of my kids.

i'm over 2/3 done with grad school (really), and i feel like i'm turning over new leaves and opening new doors on a daily basis...

at the end of the day tomorrow, i will have a 2nd grader and a 4th grader. where on earth did the time go? honestly - where?

this morning when i woke jay up, she was not hugging her turtle or her elephant or her midas...instead, she had her arms wrapped securely around my nook. and i had so many questions...

this morning when i woke cee up, she seemed like a tween with her long, lanky legs sprawled everywhere...until she opened her sweet eyes and asked me if today was kickball day....

where on earth did the time go? honestly - where? it seems like just yesterday i was swaddling them and rocking them to sleep.

but it wasn't yesterday.

it was seven years ago...and five years ago...and now they're growing up and i can't make time slow down for me. or them.

with that said, in 38 hours, i will be poolside with my babies. and their smiles and reckless laughter and shouts of 'marco' (countered by our sweet neighbor boy's 'po-do') will make this bittersweet feeling go away...right?

i sure hope so.



Monday, May 28, 2012

you know that feeling you get when you realize you picked the perfect color of paint? i've been reveling in that feeling for the last 24 hours and it is fabulous!

everybody has skeletons in their closet, and my most annoying one was my bathroom. it was blue...and not in a good way. it has been the proverbial thorn in my side since i bought my house, and tackling it seemed like such a daunting task. i'm too embarrassed to post a full picture of the horror that it was, so here's a corner peek...

i know - it's bad.
i finally decided to tackle the blue beast!! it took lots of primer, and my neck has a permanent kink in it now...

 but it's primarily done, and i am on cloud nine about it!! the color? wait for it...it's two of the greatest things - combined into one!!!





champagne glee!!!

honestly it was love at first sight with the color, and once i saw the name, the deal was sealed.

before i could get started, i did have a major 'wrong' to 'right' in the home improvement department...

...and i took care of that yesterday. let me tell you - it will never be 'easy' for me to navigate my way through home depot or lowe's or any other home improvement store. in fact, being out of my comfort zone is one of the must frustrating things for me. not knowing where the drill bits are...not knowing exactly which one i need when i find them 20 minutes later...not knowing where those plastic thingies-that-go-in-the-wall-before-the-screw reside...having to ask for help.

ughhh...annoying beyond words for me.

anyway...if you remember, i have a broken toe right now. also i don't own a ladder. as i was tottering precariously along my counter and the ledge of my tub while i painted, i wondered more than once what i would do if i fell: would i protect my toe or the rest of my body?

luckily, i didn't have to answer that question, but while i was not-so-gracefully leaping from one side of the counter to the other, i thought, 'this is how people die.'

in my perfect world, i would have another picture to show you of the same corner of my bathroom...bathed in champagne glee!!

however, thanks to my broken toe, i have a new-found affection for the term 'a little rough around the edges.'

translation: i couldn't reach the ceiling to tape where the wall meets the ceiling, and it's not quite camera-ready just yet. 

instead, here's a sneak peak, post handy-work with the drill and new bit that took me 20 minutes to find:

i know this picture doesn't do it justice, but i'm still over-the-moon giddy about the color. if there were more things i my house i needed to paint right now, i would probably paint them in champagne glee. if you need anything in your house painted, i highly recommend champagne glee!

okay - that's all for now.


which came first?

Friday, May 25, 2012

it's a fair question: which came first, the chicken or the egg?

i'm not really up for a philosophical debate right now, but while i was pondering this question today, the magazine aisle of heb seemed to be hinting at an answer for me...

the girls left for the beach with their dad today, so i decided it would be a great afternoon to pick up a few magazines. while perusing my options, i couldn't help but notice this:

so many questions popped into my mind...does this magazine really have a readership? is it regional? is it legit? and most importantly, why have i never heard of it?

as i pushed my buggy down the aisle, i caught sight of even more areas of interest:

this prompted even more questions...are poultry limited to your backyard for this publication? how big is your backyard? is your hoa alright with poultry (because mine isn't)? did someone put the shark book behind the duck and chicks on purpose or by accident? and finally a trivia question: what was the name of chandler and joey's chick on friends?

and then i dove into the meat of my question of the day: which came first: the 24-year old girlfriend or the ex-husband/ex-wife issues? all i'm going to say is that jay was feeling under the weather and her dad made a deal with me that if i got a half-day sub today, he would pick her up from me before 10 am so i could get to school and take care of 'stuff' (like educating 120 students who comprise a small percentage of america's future).

and somewhere between point a and point b, he felt comfortable enough to ask if the 24-year old could just 'hang out at my house for awhile with jay' because he had an appointment for a massage.


and most importantly - no.

the audacity is beyond annoying at this point, but i'm trying to be graceful about it...

...let's just say it's getting more difficult each day. with that said, i will do whatever i need to do (within reason, of course) to keep my girls happy and in a good place because these smiles are my world!

which, in a round-about-way, brings us back to the original question: which came first, the chicken or the egg?

i'm still not sure and i'm still not in a philosophical mode, but i do know that i have a nest full of these on my porch...

i am very curious as to the source of the fluffy white fur lining the nest...this might be a mystery that i don't solve.

i have a turbulent weekend ahead of me: i'm going to paint my bathroom!! i know - i am such a wild child.

my assignments are done, my toe is better, there's no soccer tomorrow, a glass of wine is calling my name, and there's an ambien on my nightstand...so until next time...



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

a weird thing happened to me yesterday: i got out-pranked, and while i'm not the world's greatest prankster, i'm not sure i've ever 'lost' like this before.

to keep things simple, i rearranged my neighbor's desk (my teaching neighbor - not my real neighbor, because that would be bizarre). he's extremely type a with a hint of ocd, so it was fun. but he's also competitive...his reply to my prank involved tipping over all the chairs in my room and then tipping a table over for good measure.

when i say table, i mean those long, six-foot tables that are made of super heavy stuff. i laughed - it was well played. and as i was lifting the table back upright, the legs slid on my floor and i dropped the whole table...smack on my toe!!

i winced.

it hurt.

okay, i may have said a few four letter words.

i didn't want to make a fuss about it, so i hobbled to my friend's classroom so she could assess the damage for me. at this point, my toe was red, and we both agreed that broken bones usually result in severe bruising and swelling.

so i went about my business for another couple of hours and then i took my shoe off to recheck my toe. swollen? check. bruised? double check.

by the end of the day, i was concerned.

the girls were concerned when i picked them up from school, but i put on my toughest face for them.

by seven that night, i thought i was possibly going to lose an appendage because my toe was an alarming shade of black. i made the girls go with me to the emergency clinic (knowing that there was very little they could do, but needing assurance that i wasn't going to live the rest of my life with only nine toes).

the doctor walked into the room and the only thing i noticed is that after his name were the distinguished initials 'd.o.'

do you remember last summer when i had major insomnia? my first problem-solving stop was to the same clinic. with the same d.o., and upon expressing my sleep exasperations to him, he gently suggested that i read the tao of pooh and the te of piglet...at which point i knew he would most likely deny my desperate plea for some ambien.

(i was right - he denied my request)

fast forward nine months, and i had the same sinking feeling that the doctor from the hundred acre wood would not be hooking me up with prescription pain relief in my immediate future.

(i didn't ask this time, but he did tell me that my toe was so broken he didn't even need to do an x-ray)

i felt beyond foolish hobbling around on my nine good toes today, and i am really exhausted. it takes a lot of focused effort to navigate the world with a bum toe. i cannot wait to crawl into bed...and prop my foot up on a stack of pillows surrounded by ice packs...

wish me luck.


freaky friday

Friday, May 18, 2012

my morning started off as 10s across the board. no school today! i got to walk the girls into their classrooms! i got to catch up with some of my mom friends who i never get to see! very shortly, i'll be with my college lovelies!

but before the clock struck 9, things got weird. first, i went to get my oil changed. i am no jftb - nobody ever taught me how to change my own oil. one time in high school i think i added some to my car (which was a diesel, and apparently those kind of cars have different rules), and i haven't attempted anything similar since. 

the oil change place is like home depot for me: usually filled with men who always feel like they can sell me stuff i don't really need. today was no exception...lots of men, and the oil change dude tried to make me get synthetic oil and fancy spark plugs. no gracias.

somewhere between watching the news and playing the always-awesome bubble game on my phone, a lady walks in. granted it was only 8:30 in the morning, but i'd say there was a good chance she'd just left the bar. she proceeds to ask for a manager, and one quickly appeared.

she then asked for a copy of her receipt from her visit last week 'for her records.' the guy asks for her card, but she doesn't want to give it to him, and he says that it's no big deal because he can just look her up by her license plates. he does, and it works.

she tells him thank you, looks at the receipt, and asks for max (who, as we will soon learn, is the guy who changed her oil). the guy says, 'sure. is everything okay? is there a problem?'

she says, 'well....' and then pauses dramatically. she literally lowers her sunglasses, turns around to make sure she has the entire waiting room's attention, and then says, '....yeah. my car broke down on me last night, and by the time the tower (one who tows, not the architectural piece of a castle) got me to the mechanic's, the mechanic told me that y'all must have forgotten to put oil in my car because there wasn't any in there.'

awkward silence...from everyone....except her. she continues, 'so....i guess i just need some explaining as to why y'all charged me for an oil change from max when i didn't actually get any oil.'

now, that is a much better explanation than i could have ever wrapped my mind around, but i do think there may have been a more discreet way to approach the situation.

when i paid, i really wanted to ask if they were sure they put the oil back in my car, but i didn't because i felt like that might be a reasonably dumb question.

when i bought my car in december, i'm pretty sure the guy was trying to teach my how to check the oil, but all i really remember is him saying, 'don't ever touch this, blah blah blah blah blah, and here's where you can plug in your iphone.'

i guess only time will tell whether or not i have oil in my car right now.

after the awkward oil change, i came home. usually the first thing i do is let browning out...not today. instead, i went into full panic mode because his room looked like someone had been bludgeoned to death. seriously.

while i stood in the doorway with my jaw on the ground, browning, happily bounced around my house checking things out, sniffing for food, tossing his ball to himself, and (this will be key later) whacking his tail against pretty much every surface of my house.

i finally got him outside and frantically called the vet. they explained to me that he simply has 'happy tail,' and given the right circumstances, his tail can quickly turn into a paint brush.


who gets happy tail? we're in the middle of a recession - what's to be happy about? the world might end in six months...he's in his twilight years...he's overweight...we're in the middle of a drought...but no! browning is unfazed by all of this and happier than ever. the vet told me that i can try bandaging it, but docking is usually the best solution.

so i did what any logical person would do - i took him to the kennel a little bit early.

i came home to clean house before leaving town, and let me tell you something. if you have ever thought about killing someone, i would highly encourage you not to do that unless you're okay with prison. plus it's fundamentally wrong.

but the sheer amount of dog-tail-blood that was splattered around my house was astounding (please go back and re-read the dark green paragraph). i spent most of the morning cleaning the splatters, and i'm pretty sure if a csi team came in, they would mock my efforts with their 20/20 vision and fancy black lights. there were splatters in places i thought were splatter-proof. i even used my floor steamer for some of it. yuck, yuck, and yuck!

alright, i'll leave you with that. but please remember the very important morals of today's stories...1) don't trust just anybody with your engine; and 2) don't kill anybody (unless you want to go to prison - and even still, i'm not condoning or suggesting that you ever do this...there are people who can help you! ).

alright, i'm off for some glorious r&r....


i wish you knew...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

...how much i love the smattering of cinnamon-dusted freckles that crawl across jay's nose and spill over onto her cheeks. i've tried to capture them in my pictures of her a million times, but the camera never does them justice. the best view of them is when she's sitting in my lap looking me straight in the eyes trying to tell me something magical, or when she's asleep and doesn't mind how long i look at her. even though i have them engrained in my mind, i can't get enough.

i wish you knew...

...how much i love the way cee's eyes twinkle. even though they're a deep, dark, chocolate brown, there's something about them that makes them absolutely dance on certain special occasions (like tuesdays). maybe it's because she's about to tell you a joke, maybe it's because something just surprised her, or maybe it's because she just realized i was pulling her leg. whenever she looks at me with those mysteriously intriguing eyes, my heart seriously melts.

okay, i just wanted to make sure you knew that.

i've soaked up every last minute with them this week, and i'm gonna miss them over the weekend!


morons, camouflage, school, and reality tv

Monday, May 14, 2012

1. 'never argue with stupid people. they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.'

while i would like to be able to positively attribute this saying to mark twain, i can't be absolutely sure who said it....or even that one person originally said it.

but it was waiting for me in my inbox when i got to work this morning.

let's just say that i really could have used these wise words yesterday (with or without someone to cite as original quoter)...and because of their greatness, these words still worked their magic on me today.

2. question of the night goes to cee: 'mom, can you help me look for my camouflage peace sign bag? i can't find it anywhere!'

this made me chuckle. a lot.

it made me chuckle even more when i found it on the first try.

apparently my eyes are camo-repellent.

3. i am done with my 8th grad school class...four more to go, and please know that i 'm really going to enjoy this week's break!   

4. an all-new season of the bachelorette starts tonight. i know you can hardly wait, right?

5. please don't connect me with the unintelligent people from #1 based on my reality tv choices. please?



Sunday, May 13, 2012

it's mother's day, and i don't think i have to tell you how much i love being a mom or how lucky i feel each and everyday to have cee and jay in my life.

reading all of the mother's day facebook posts really put the meaning of today into a beautiful perspective for me.

some people thanked their moms for always being there for them, and others thanked their moms for giving them the chance to shine.

some thanked their own children for blessing them with grand babies. some thanked their daughters for being amazing moms to those grandchildren.

one reminded me of her very personal struggles in becoming a mom by reminding everyone that they should never take motherhood for granted. another thanked her fertility specialists for helping her be the mom she is today.

some people paid tribute to their moms who are no longer with them.

i thought about one mom who didn't post anything...she laid two of her sons to rest in the last year. i thought about another mom who has been without her son for almost a year. these ladies have a special place in my heart.

i also thought about a small handful of my friends who are celebrating their first mother's days...and next year they'll have a tiny little cherub that will have changed their lives in ways they can't even imagine at this point in their pregnancies.

i completely and whole heartedly loved all of the mother's day wishes i received from my own friends. i loved seeing the different ways all the moms celebrated today.

but most of all, i cherished all the love i got to shower on things uno y dos. because they are my all.

happy mother's day to all the incredible mommas out there - i hope you had a positively splendid day!


semi soccer mom

Saturday, May 12, 2012

today was my last time to play soccer mom for the season. the girls each have one more game next weekend, but i will be out of town with some of my favorite ladies - my college girlfriends!

i told the girls this was my last game to see for the season, and they both played their hearts out.

jay's team finally brought all of their skills together today and they won all 'learned more about the sport and had fun in the process' (because we don't keep score).

cee's favorite after school counselor ref'ed her game today, and i think that always gives her some extra motivation to play hard...and it's great to know that he'll work with her on her strengths and weaknesses throughout the next week.

she shoots....

she almost scores...

i tend to shudder when i hear the term 'soccer mom,' primarily because i'm worried i might fall into that category. i finally looked it up on urban dictionary today. it only took me three years...

eeeks. some of it hits a little too close to home, and some of it made me laugh.

labels or not, i love watching my girls play. i expect them to do their best every single time, and i try to teach them what it means to be a part of a team.

i never yell at them or fuss about how they played, and i feel bad for the kids who get reprimanded after the games by their parents. i make sure they both know how much i appreciate their hard work, and i make sure they always know i'm proud of their efforts.

next season, cee is probably moving to a different league where things are substantially more competitive. i have no idea how she'll like it, but i plan to keep the same mindset even with the change.

jay has decided that soccer is not really her thing and she really wants to focus on basketball. does a seven year old really know? i'm not sure, but i don't want to push her in a direction she isn't interesting in pursuing.

my theory has always been that i would expose them to different sports and wait for their input on how much they do or don't like it. i guess my plan is starting to unfold because they're letting me know where they want to bloom and where they feel stagnant.

the one thing that keeps dancing around in the back of my mind is that they are just about the age i was when i started playing tennis....hmmmm.

more later...


giant, venomous beasts

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

this morning while i was getting ready, something really awful and evil happened.

i am a creature of habit. each morning after i put a very tiny amount of smoothing shea butter liquid glass serum on my hair, i apparently proceed to rub the serum onto the tops of my hands and then i wipe the palms of my hands on my pants. the girls tell me this is my 'finishing touch' each morning.

this morning was no different...except for one minor detail. when i wiped my hands on my jeans, something went awry. i felt as if something very thin and sharp stabbed me directly beneath the cuticle of my left ring finger.

bewildered, i looked at my finger. i looked for stray poky things on my jeans.

i looked at my finger again.

i looked at my jeans again.


nothing was visible that could explain the shooting pain in my finger that was slowly oozing into my hand.

as the pain increased, i yelled for cee.

and then one word registered with me: scorpion.

frantically, i looked on the floor. i looked on my jeans. i looked all around me, and i saw nothing.

for some reason, i decided to turn around and look at my back in the mirror.

sure enough, SCORPION.

crawling across the small of my back.

i screamed for cee again.

she and jay arrived mid-scream, looking absolutely terrified.

i said (very calmly and quietly, i'm sure), 'help me...there is a scorpion on my back!!!'

i looked at them (without any terror in my eyes...because it isn't genetically possible that i would pass along to them the gene that makes a person fear anything that has more than four legs with the full realm of their being).

they screamed.

i screamed.

they screamed again.

(this is not unusual for us...if one of us says 'bug', this is a very normal and typical reaction that we are fairly used to experiencing, but usually we laugh hysterically afterwards because one of us 'got' the other two)

i said (quietly and calmly, i'm sure), 'please don't scream. you'll scare it and it will sting me again.'

and then i did what any logical person would do - i used my sheet to flick the perpetrator off of my back.

which prompted more screaming from all parties involved.

my biggest fear at that moment was that i would die of heart failure/stress-induced shock before i could smoosh it.

but please don't worry - all the stars in the universe aligned perfectly for me. the little guy fell to the floor, and i promptly annihilated him with my shoe.

it has never felt so good to squish something.


in my whole entire life.

the girls are fine.

my finger hurts like crazy.

as a result of this life-altering experience, i left mama o the best voicemail of all time, and she provided me with endless comfort for my physical and emotional wounds.

my house has been doused in several coats of extreme-maximum-elimination-never-see-them-again pesticide treatments specifically designed for these wretched beasts, and for the next two days i will be on high alert. if we were the homeland security council, we would be on red alert right now.

not orange, but red.

this is serious business.

just like it was serious business last year...

i will leave you with this question, and if you have answers other than no, it's okay if you don't comment (unless your answer is steeped in straight up scientific truth):

do scorpions have any legitimate purpose to be on this earth?

please get back to me if you have answers. in the meantime, i'll be gently rocking myself like rainman and hot water.


the rest of the story

Friday, May 4, 2012

true to his word from my last post, my dad did check on the significance of owls to creeks for me. by wednesday afternoon i had my answer:
i asked one of the national council employees about owls, and he said the old people often spoke of owls as the 'coming back' of those who have gone on. as though someone, like your grandmother, is coming back occasionally to make sure things are cool with you and your girls.

for obvious reasons, i like this explanation substantially more than i liked the one about my imminent death.

i once again consulted the powers of google to see if there were any indian legends about barn swallows. i was tickled to learn that indians believe swallows bring a sense of protection and warmth to the homes on which they nest.

are my occasional visitors a metaphorical symbol for my sweet grandmothers coming back to check on me? are the barn swallows a continuation of that metaphor? i can't be certain, but i'd be lying to you if i said that the ideas didn't bring me a slice of peace deep in my heart.

oh, and as for the owls who my aunt originally asked about, i told her i thought they'd flown the coop...but early thursday morning, i realized i was wrong...i must have just blocked them out or taken them for granted.

their gentle, pre-sunrise coos were absolute music to my ears. maybe it's just for awhile, or maybe they never went anywhere...but i have a new appreciation for everything that's feathering my nest right now.

happy weekend...


birds of a feather

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

remember my bambinos from last year? the parents are back!! i feel like i've really achieved something grand without actually doing anything...they like my house. they think my house is worthy of rebuilding their nest that partially collapsed in the fall. they trust me to help protect their brood (this may not be entirely accurate, but it feels good to think this way).

feather your nest
i put this mildly awesome picture on facebook sunday afternoon...it's the parents (who, i learned, are monogamous during nesting season but totally play the field outside of nesting season), and whenever i open the front door, they fly away and then do these wildly diving fly-bys very near the porch to make sure their eggs are still safe and sound. sometimes they hover, and i think they're going to need to read up on the detrimental nature of helicopter parenting.

which brings me to the point of my story. i am half indian - to be specific, i am 15/32 creek (on my dad's side). which makes me 46.88% legit.

when i woke up monday morning, i had a facebook message from my aunt (my dad's oldest sister):
my husband wants to know what happened to the owls that were in the fireplace last year?  you know how creeks are about owls . . . if not, ask your daddy.

i don't know what creeks think about owls. but i do think owls are very wise. i also think my aunt is incredibly wise, so i take her advice and i ask my dad:
i have a question for ya - what do creeks believe about owls? 

he writes back (but i am a half-step ahead of him, thanks to the powers of google):
i'll ask, but my initial reaction is about death.

please don't be alarmed - this doesn't phase me, and i don't really worry too much at this point because i grew up hearing some of the most awesome creek stories ever, and i have always attributed those stories to my wicked imagination...

there were the stories about the little people who lived in the woods near my great aunt's home (i was named after her, and in a true nod to the 80's i made the choice to drop the 'ie' at the end of my name and replace them with a more simple 'y'...because i was a total rebel when i was eight).

on a side note, i just realized that stories about the little people may explain the following:
--my aversion to those who are height-challenged;
--my childhood adoration with all things weeble; and
--my intense fascination with keebler products.

there were the stories about the medicine man (who also lived in the woods, but i can neither confirm nor deny whether or not he knew the alleged little people). the medicine man would help my grandfather's sore knees with fancy tricks like soaking corn husks and *something else* in a bowl of water on the back porch over night and then rinsing his knees with the water the next morning.

the medicine man would also chew mysterious plants and then blow in my dad's ear to soothe his earaches when he was little wee.

to round out his bevy of tricks, the medicine man had a super magical remedy during world war two where he would give people something 'special' to smoke if they were worried about being drafted into the war. the 'special stuff' would coat their lungs and make their x-rays falsely show tuberculosis, thus eliminating people from the draft.

kinda cool.

back to the owls - hearing that creeks see owls as a sign of death wasn't surprising to me. so i write back to my dad:
moe is very concerned about the owls in my chimney, so that {death} would make sense.

my dad writes back to me:
moe: real name is geronimo. he's a full blood creek who didn't speak english until the 1st grade. he's into stomp dances and ceremonial grounds and is pleased that i started attending these things last summer.

my dad (who is 31/32 creek - which is like a quarter of a millimeter away from totally fully legit) goes on to say that he almost feels like a poser when he is around moe and friends. and i understand this because that final quarter of a millimeter (3%) does make a difference. trust me.

my dad is the speaker for his tribe, which is kind of like being hillary clinton on the totem pole in that it is an appointed position of honor. my dad continues his email by telling me that moe helps him interpret and write speeches in creek.

my dad (who is a cpa by profession) also works with tax legislation issues on behalf of the tribe. in a nutshell, indian tribes ('nations') are sovereign entities in the eyes of the u.s. constitution, so there is a lot of flexibility in what tribes are able to do with taxation (including tobacco, licensing, land, and gambling).

i know the work my dad is doing right now gratifies him in part because he knows it makes my grandmother (who passed away just before cee was born) proud. and my dad makes me proud all of the time...especially when he ends emails like this:
i'll ask moe this week what the deal may be with owls. everyone has to have someplace to hang out.

no matter how bad the outlook is for someone who has/had owls living in their chimney, i'm sure the outlook is equally sunny for someone who has barn swallows nesting on their porch for two hatching seasons in a row.

and on that note, i hope some barn swallows find their way to your roost and bring you a smile or two in the process (unless i'm wrong and they are also an impending symbol of doom...and if that's the case, then i unwish my wish for them to find you).


updated: want the rest of the story?

Theme by: Pish and Posh Designs