Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Last Month Re-Cap

Last month, I set some knitting goals.  So, how did I do?  Here are the results!

1.  Knit 1 hank of yarn on my February Lady Sweater  -- I did this and have now divided for the sleeves and have knit just past my boobs.  So, it is coming along.  I will take some pictures next month.

2.  Knit 15 squares on my sock yarn blanket -- I did this too.  I actually did more than 15, I did 18.   I have so much farther to go on this project, it is a bit overwhelming.  I have done about 260 squares, out of 732.  It is a long march!

For March, I want to accomplish the following:

1.  Finish my Cookie A socks  -- DONE

2.  Finish my December sock club socks -- DONE

3.  Make a sheep for Hannah's teacher -- DONE

4.  Start my pin-wheel scarf -- DONE

Monday, March 29, 2010


Events of Passover:

1)  It is a darn good thing my kids are Jews, because they couldn't cut it at an Easter Egg Hunt.  After spending 30 minutes looking for the afikomen, then getting hotter and colder hints, it was decided that they were clearly not cut from the same cloth as their mother.  My Dad hid the eggs so well, that he had to have a map to find that one last egg no one could find.  Well, until it rotted and we located it by smell. 

This reminds me of the time that a dozen eggs slipped out of the grocery bag and were hidden in the trunk of Bob's car.  A few weeks later the car started to smell, not so good.  We cleaned out the inside, aired it out, nothing worked.  One day after taking it to the store again, I noticed a carton of eggs tucked in a corner.  I carefully pulled it out and solved the smell problem.

2) Songs on the computer are a nice thing, but it is an issue when there is only one book of songs, and not everyone knows the words. 

3)  I almost lost a game of bowling to a 4 year old.  Real bowling is nothing like bowling on the wii.  I am much better at bowling on the wii.

4) A person can only eat so much matzoh.  I feel ill already.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Goals for April

The goals for last month worked out so well, I am going to try it again for this month!  So here they are:


  • Knit 1 skein on my sweater
  • Knit 15 squares on my blanket
  • Knit one row of pin-wheels for pin-wheel scarf

Monthly Goals:
  •  Christmas Stocking for Martha
  •  Shur'rugal socks out of Happiest Girl, I never promised you a rose garden.  (I love the names of the colorways in this line of yarn!)
I think this will be all I can get done this month.  If I finish up early, I will keep working on my blanket or start another project!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Street Car #9

For today, a list..
  • Viva Las Vegas
  • I am alone, but doin' alright
  • What, I was supposed to know who was in that picture?
  • The best thing was his spacers?  He is happy about braces.
  • Paragraph #9, how I love thee paragraph #9
  • At the end of the day odes will be written about paragraph #9
  • I am so happy, I am Paragraph #9 happy
  • I am sorry, but I thought you said....
  • I can't stop the smile on my face, because I am happy in this place, smile on my friends
  • We think he might have giggled just a bit 
  • Can you change teams?
    • Card sharks
    • I don't believe you
    • Freak, what is it winter?  I am FREEZING
    • I would like to point out that a 9 is just an upside down 6, just sayin'....
    • Knitting makes everything better

    Thursday, March 25, 2010

    Moving Day

    Moving Day.  It is a day that is the end of a chapter, the beginning of a new chapter.  In my life I have moved a lot.  There was a time when I joked that if I ran out of checks, who uses those much any more, I moved.  Since I have been married, I have moved less.  Bob seems to be a stabilizing force in my life!

    Today, walking to school we saw a mover truck in front of a neighbors house.  This truck was moving people out.  I am sure another will move people in.  The kids and I all had a reaction to the truck.

    Sam, was interested in the truck.  He wanted very badly to go over and look at it more closely.  He noticed all the differences between this truck and our truck.  The name, the rig pulling the trailer didn't have a sleeping cab on it, etc.

    Hannah, thought the they guys didn't look as nice as Mr. Steve, from Paul Arpin.  We love him.  We also love Paul Arpin.

    Mac, remembered when our truck pulled up.  He said that it was raining that day.  Which is was, sort of like today.  He said that he was very happy to see his stuff, after having it in storage for a month.  But, he said, he was also sort of sad because it meant we were really never going back to Connecticut.  I asked him if he would like to go back now.  He said no, that he likes it here.

    As for me, one of the images in the slide show of my life is the Paul Arpin truck pulling away from my house, heading around the bend, with all my stuff in it.  The truck was going to Rhode Island.  Mr. Steve was an oddly large part of my life at that moment, he packed me, he shepherded my stuff from Rhode Island for storage and then back to Illinois for me.  He liked us, and he treated our stuff like gold.  He even called me when he found the casters for Sam's bed when the swept out the truck.  He was willing to come by my house to drop them off before he left town.  That is the kind of mover you want. 

    Mr. Steve also talked to me about the perils of living in temporary housing for a month.  In his understated way, he told me it was going to suck and that I was going to hug him when I saw him again.  He was right.  I didn't' hug him, but I told him I did hug the truck. 

    When he finally left, with a honk of the horn, he signaled the end of one chapter in my life and the beginning of another.  If I ever move again, I want Mr. Steve to do it.  Really Paul Arpin Movers and Mr. Steve are the best.

    Wednesday, March 24, 2010

    Don't worry about the house keeping

    I read an article in Sunset magazine this week.  It was written by a woman who teaches a writing class.  She talks about how she tells her class that they need to spend 1 hour a day writing if the really want to become good writers.  Then she talks about the litany of excuses people have for NOT spending an hour a day doing this.  It boils down to, "I just don't have time I am super busy."

    As the article progresses she says that we fill our lives with super busyness and do not actually enjoy our lives.  That if we spent 1 hour a day not cleaning out houses or not working or doing what ever it is that sucks our time and makes us feel that we are so busy.

    So, there I am thinking, oh, a reason to not clean the house and then I thought, this article is not telling you to clean less.  That does not apply to you.  I actually think that the article is telling me to clean more.  I spend a great deal of time lamenting about the mess that is in my house.  I was a lot of energy worrying about how messy my house is, but don't actually fix the problem.  So, I decided, that rather then complain about the work, I will just do it.  I will stop spending time being upset about the state of the house, and use that time to actually address the problem.

    My house will never be perfect, I am not really striving for that, but I love to have that feeling of peace when everything is picked up and not all over.  The chaos of the mess creates negative energy for me, and it becomes a spiral.  I am not happy because the house is messy, and I am depressed that my house is yucky.  The more depressed I get, the messier the house gets, and so on. 

    What I have found, is that if I do a little bit of work everyday, that the house isn't out of control.  If the house isn't out of control I feel better and have more time to do other things that I like.  It seems counter intuitive that an article that is telling you to let go of your busyness has actually made me do more work.  The pay off is that I spend much less time worrying about the mess, and can actually enjoy the time I have!

    Tuesday, March 23, 2010

    Wonder what he thought

    While at knitting a couple of Sunday's ago, there was a late 20's early 30's guy sitting in one of the chairs near us.  The chairs are all lined up on in a row.  A couple of folks in our group were clustering around the chair at the end of the row.  As the group grew, and more people left the chairs on the window, a few of us jumped into them, thus expanding our group in such a way that this guy was sitting in the middle of us.

    Now, knit group conversation can be as mundane as chatter about the weather, yarn, needles, questions about patterns and what not.  OR we can talk about men, sex, crazy families, boob jobs, periods, etc.  Pretty much, nothing is scared at knit group.  We have scared off many potential members by our lack of boundaries... but that is what makes us a really fun group.  At least in my humble opinion.

    Anyway, this week was no different and the conversation turned to discussing various men and comb overs.  I of course blurt out, I think bald men are hot.  This is met with a chorus of agreement.  The guy sitting in the middle pretending to read, was suddenly even more interested it us.  We then started to talk about all the unexpected things we like about various men.  Needless to say, he probably fit the bill on a number of them, but most likely feared that he was a bit nerdy.  Yeah, we watched him too...

    I would love to have talked to him afterward, to hear his opinion of the experience.  I wonder what he said about us.  I imagine that he said that knitting groups sure aren't a bunch of old ladies sitting around talking about their bursitis. 

    This hip knitter, signing off till next time.

    Sunday, March 21, 2010

    The Event

    Again, this post was supposed to run last week, but due to some technical difficulties, it didn't.

    On to the Shabbaton.  We get in the car, after having a not so good conversation with Mac.  He is angry and sullen, because we have punished him for lying.  Let's just say, we aren't in the best of moods.

    I was supposed to take a dessert.  I say supposed, because in spite of the fact that I made mini-cupcakes, I never frosted them.  I was going to take them anyway, because small children really don't care.  So, I put them on a plate to take along.  Only, here is the problem, I didn't actually take them.  I realized this after we were already late and almost at Temple.  GREAT!

    I drop the kids and Bob off at Temple and go to the grocery store to purchase dessert.  This kills me, because now I look like a slacker mom, which I really am not.  But, I purchased them anyway.  While I was picking out my dessert, motivated by price point a clerk tells me that a mom in the store had told her daughter that she was a looser.  The clerk was horrified by this behavior.  While calling a child a looser is not really a top parenting maneuver, there are times when we as parents make mistakes.  I was sad for the mom who was being talked down about, because what she probably need was for the lady in the bakery to give her and the kids a cookie and a kind word. 

    Upon returning to the Temple, dessert in hand, we suffered through too little food, too much singing and the kids' play.  The kids' performances were very well done and enjoyable.  Then after the performances, a fact that I was unaware of upon signing up for this event was made evident.  We were to STAY for the Shabbat service.  This service starts at 8:00 pm and goes for an hour.  I had Sam and Hannah with me.  I was not real excited about this bit of information.  Here I am with a 6 year old and a 4 year old, who are already up past their bed times, and I am supposed to keep them quiet and well behaved during a hour long service?  I was not optimistic. 

    Surprisingly, the kids did pretty well, but towards the end they were cooked and we left.  During the oneg, which is the dessert portion of the evening, one of the board members approached me and told me about the child care that is offered during the service.  Child care?  During the service?  You mean I didn't have to suffer through an hour long service with two exhausted, squirmy kids?  Where were you before this began...  I wish someone would have shared that tidbit on information with me! 

    Anyway, all three kids passed out in the car on the way home and we all went to bed immediately upon getting home.  I chalk today up to one massive Fail.

    Saturday, March 20, 2010

    Not a cloud in the sky

    This is a post that was scheduled to run last week, and for some reason didn't.... we won't talk about that!

    Mac has been working furiously on a performance at religious school.  His class has been learning their parts, creating props, putting together a very cute arrangement of Mother Goose tales, in Hebrew.

    In order to complete this task, Mac had to use my umbrella for his rendition of Rain of on the Green Grass.  Of course, his teacher requested that all props be left at school.  So Mac left my umbrella at hebrew school.  You can see where this is going... you see the week between when he left the umbrella and when he did the performance, it rained.  Yes, it rained, it poured and the old man snored.

    My umbrella is a golf sized, rainbow colored umbrella.  It is big and bright and oh so much fun.  I bought it because when we moved all our umbrellas disappeared, poof.  I had walked to school in the rain for a year, and decided that I was over it, so I spend the $20 and bought a new one.  It is the only umbrella in the house.  So, leaving it at hebrew school, left me out in the rain.

    A friend of mine hooked me up with a loaner umbrella.  This was very kind of her, and we used it.  Then, we had the Shabbaton, more on this tomorrow, and I got my umbrella back.  So, her umbrella sat by my door, so I could remember to take it back to her.  I see her every day at pick up.  For a week I forgot.  Then, on a beautiful clear 65 degree day, not a cloud in the sky, I remember.  I walked to school, carring her large golf sized, blue and white umbrella.  Did I mention there was not a cloud in the sky?

    I got looks from people driving by.  I had cat calls from teenagers out of windows.  A few folks stopped and asked me what I knew that they didn't.  I walk 2 blocks to get to the school, on residential streets.  There is not a lot of traffic generally.  The kids walking back to class after an assembly stopped to look for clouds, and then informed me that there were none in the sky.  Even the teachers looked at me a bit cross eyed.

    Seriously, hasn't anyone ever returned a loaner umbrella?

    Friday, March 19, 2010


    A conversation over heard between me and Mac:

    Mac:  Mom, I read some really horrible news in the newspaper today.

    Mom:  Yeah, I saw that too.  We don't talk about that sort of thing in our house, alright?

    Mac:  My teachers were talking about it at school yesterday.

    Mom:  I don't really care.  They were also talking about it at knitting, but we don't talk about it here.  What are they teaching in school...

    Mac:  But, look Mom, there are even pictures of it in the paper.

    Mom:  We will cancel our subscription.  Really, some people have no sense of decorum.  I am not kidding when I tell you, we do not speak about this in our house.  I would also prefer that you not talk about it away from the house either.

    Mac:  Mom, we can not hide from the facts.

    Mom:  The paper isn't always right.

    Mac:  But, Mom, do you think, do you really think it will..... wons this weekend?

    Mom:  I appreciate you not using that sort of language in the house, but wons is really not much better than, well, I just can't say it.

    Mac:  Fine Mom, choose to ignore it, but well, SNOW is coming. 

    Mom:  Go to your room.  You do not talk like that in this house.

    Mac:  Someone had to say it Mom.

    Thursday, March 18, 2010

    It is a bumpy ride

    I keep trying to come up with stuff to write about, but unfortunately a big portion of what is going on in my life is not for blog consumption.  I got to thinking about this summer and the past couple of months when my posts seemed to write themselves, ideas were backed up for weeks on end.  Filling this page was not so hard to do.

    What was happening then, that well, isn't happening now?  The answer my friend, was that I was in crisis.  I was trying to sort out what was happening to me, to my family.  Things have dramatically settled down.  Almost with a thump.  We have gone from bouncing around, contemplating life, trying to understand it's meaning, being on the roller coaster of emotions, to basically living well.

     When things are calm, there isn't much to say.  Who wants to read, got up, had a pretty good day all things considered, went to bed.  It is not that inspiring.  It certainly isn't interesting! 

    The drama that is happening around me, like I said in the beginning is not something I can talk about right now.  That said, it is interesting to look at this person who is an important being in my life going through the roller coaster of emotions, but have it NOT be me.  I am sort of detached.  I listen, and then assign homework so that this person can take steps towards getting things done and ultimately achieving the objective.

    I try really hard to impress upon my friend that this too shall pass, and things will settle down.  Perhaps even with a thump.  It might be a long and bumpy road, but it will be alright. 

    The take away from today, is that no matter what is going on, it will be alright at some point, and there is always someone else worse off than you.

    Randomness on Thursday

    *  Drama Llama's, Vampire Sheep, Nameless Alpaca, oh my!

    *  Doctors, Orthodontists, Principals, oh my!

    *  G-d is great, beer is good, people are crazy

    *  It is the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine

    *  Thanksgiving in March

    *  I need a vacation

    *  Oh, great firey orb in the sky, warm my soul

    *  It shipped already?  No backing out now...

    *  Mom, I need, I need, I need

    *  I am waiting, I want it now, now, now, now, now, now, now

    *  I have talked to you more in the past 3 weeks than the past 5 years....

    *  You're in charge of my mother


    *  Great, now the garage door is broken

    *  Zilboorg, hmm, might have to look into this more

    *  Got my hall pass, can not wait to use it

    *  Knitting makes everything better

    Tuesday, March 16, 2010

    Need a helping hand?

    My family likes to say we put the fun in dysfunctional.  Growing up, we were the Brady Bunch, before, well that was normal.  Most kids I went to school with didn't have half brothers and sisters.  But, I did.

    My mom had two kids, a girl and a boy.  My dad had two kids, a girl and a boy.  My mom's kids were 1 year younger than my dad's kids.  So, when you merged them, they were all 1 year apart.  They got married, blending this bunch of kids.  Then, my mother got cancer and had to have her reproductive parts removed.  They couldn't have anymore kids.  So they adopted two more, a girl and a boy.  They had four kids, 11, 12, 13 and 14 years old when they adopted me.

    I grew up in this wild and crazy family.  We didn't all get along.  When I was small, really they didn't like me and my younger brother.  The older kids were mean to us.  My younger brother and I fought like I can not imagine.  I have no memory of my younger brother that does not involve us fighting with each other.  My poor mother.  I think that some of my siblings resented us for "replacing" them.  I am not sure, but I am confident that the hostility we felt as children was caused by something we as babies had no control over.

    Now that we are older, we don't talk that much.  This is not because we are not friends, but because that is just the way that it is.  I know that if I ever really needed something, my brothers would help me.  I think that they know I would help them. 

    This brings me to my kids.  I wonder if when they are adults they will have each others backs.  I have tried very hard to instill the idea that we are to look out for each other in them.  But, when the rubber meets the road, I will have nothing to say about it.  My parents could not stop my brother and sister from resenting me. 

    All I can say is that I hope that I hope that my kids help each other out.

    Monday, March 15, 2010

    Why so quiet?

    I realize I have been kinda silent lately.  There are some things going on around my life that are consuming a lot of my time.  I try very hard to tell only my story.  If I tell another's story, I try and make sure that they know that I am going to do that.

    The story that is happening around me, does not involve me really.  Other than I am part of the support team for the person it does impact.  I spend a lot of time on the phone talking to that person.  It is ok, because I know if the shoes were on the other feet, this person would do the same for me.  Would I choose them?  I don't know.  But, I know that they would help me if they could.

    I can not tell you the story, it isn't mine to tell.  Someday, when it is all over, a finished chapter in this person's life, perhaps then, it will be a story to be told.  Maybe by me, maybe by them.  Some of you have listened to me talk about this, only because I have to manage my own sanity.  But, it isn't appropriate for this blog.

    So, if I am silent, it is because well, someone else needs my time more right now.  If I peak ahead at what I think the outcome will be, I think it will be good.  For right now, it is uncertain, scary, untenable, and just plain hard.  I ask you to pray for my unnamed friend.  Pray that this person is able to accomplish their goals with the least amount of collateral damage.  That they have the wisdom to make good choices.

    Friday, March 12, 2010

    Hit and run

    I almost died yesterday.  Hannah almost died yesterday.

    I realize that I talk about "killing" the kids all the time.  I joke about dying from the horror of some event, oh so dramatic.  I know that I posted a chalk outline of my body after I was "killed" in sock wars.  Yesterday, Hannah and I almost actually died.  There is a chance that we might not have been killed, just maimed. 

    You know, your life does not flash before your eyes before you die, or almost die.  The intensity of the situation increases, things become clearer and you fight to survive.  In my situation, I grabbed my baby and hot footed it out of there.  I have no memory of doing that, but my friend who saw the whole thing told me I did. 

    What I remember is seeing a car stopped at a corner.  No one coming in the on coming traffic, so Hannah and I stepped into the crosswalk.  The car stopped at the corner, turned left into us, gunning her engine, turning her vehicle in such a manner as to direct it towards us, and almost hit us.  I screamed and grabbed Hannah and booked it across the street.

    Once safely, praise G-d, on the other side of the street, I looked at her.  Smoking her cigarette, with her processed brown hair, and her smokers' skin.  She flicked her hand at me annoyed that I was in her way.  She then proceeded to turn into the school parking lot.  Hannah and I, along with my back-up of 3 other moms and their kids, went and got her tag number.  Today, we will file a report with the police.

    I hope they go to her house and scare the shit out of her, because she sure scared us.  Would it have been so hard to have stopped her car and apologized?  I nearly hit a woman when I was backing up in a parking lot.  Her husband alerted me to this fact.  I stopped the car, turned it off, leaped out of the car and the woman, old enough to have kids about my age, gave me hug, told me that it was ok.  I felt horrible, she apologized to me, and I almost hit her with my van.  I will always remember the grace with which she handled the situation.  I would like to think, had the driver of this car showed even a bit of concern, I would have shown such grace to her.

    I will never forget the woman I almost hit, and I hope she is well.  I will never forget the woman who almost hit me.

    Thursday, March 11, 2010

    Wishing for a camera

    A picture is worth a thousand words.  But, alas, I find myself without my camera, so I will describe to you the funny things I saw today that I thought, dang it, I wish I had my camera.

    First off is the pepto-bismol pink hummer that someone drives to the gym.  I really, really, really, want to see the owner, but sadly, I have not.  It looks something like this. 

    That makes me giggle when ever I see it.  Seriously, who buys gas for this thing?  Who buys a car like this?  It is so pre-recession.  I love to imagine what the owner looks like.

    Then, of course there is the party girls limo.  I saw it parked at the Burger King.  Because that is where girls go to party, in their pink limo, let me tell you.  Burger King is it.  But sadly, no camera, it looks something like this:

    Then of course there was the purple low-rider that I followed into the gym today.  It was a big day let me tell you.  I can not find an image that is similar to this, but it was awesome.  Bright purple F-150 pickup.  The kind that usually rides tall, lowered.  Takes you right back to cruisin' on State.

    Once I arrived at the gym, after being completely amused by the cars, I went into the men's locker room, turned women's locker room.  There is a waste basket over-flowing with tampon boxes and wrappers under the urinals.  That killed me, I think I may be the only one who got the joke.  Oh, and the urinals were wrapped in pink plastic bags.

    Wish I had my camera today.

    Wednesday, March 10, 2010

    No, actually you shouldn't write a chapter in a parenting book

    I read a blog post from a person who espoused his greatness because his kids didn't use a pacifier after the age of 1.  If you want to read the post it can be found here....  Parenting manuals need my chapter.  He had a lot of not so nice things to say about parents who let their kids use pacifiers after the age of 1.  He basically asked, who is the parent here.  I don't really agree that a kid with a pacifier after the age of 1 has a bad parent, or at least not one that is any worse than any of the rest of us.  We all know, that just the mere mention of who is the parent sends me over the edge.

    Did my kids have pacifiers after the age of 1?  No, they didn't.  Mac was the only kid who took one and his day care provider broke him of the habit when he was very small, like 3 months.  He sucked his thumb instead.  But that stopped on its own eventually.  The other 2, did not like the artificial substitute for the booby.  I stopped nursing both firmly when they were 1.  I wanted to regain ownership of my body. 

    All kids have different temperaments, all parents have different temperaments.  Sometimes the parent and the kid gel, sometimes they don't.  To judge another parent because their kid has a pacifier is not really fair, unless of course you have never made a questionable parenting choice.  Think about it, have you ever made a questionable parenting choice?  I make them all the time, I share them with you, usually with some sort of justification.  Can we say no coats in winter?

    Should this blogger have judged this parent so harshly?  It sure makes for a good blog post, but it is also a bit unfair.  I am confident he is not a perfect parent.  There are days when I wish that we all settled down and stopped judging each other without all the facts and just supported each other.  Heck, let's just accept that parenting is a hard job and that most of us are trying to do the very best that we can. 

    I am confident that the mother of the kid with the pacifier is trying to do the best that she can.  Just as the over protective parents look at my parenting style and wonder what I am up to, it is easy to look at them at wish they would stop hovering. 

    At the end of the day, in spite of us, most of our kids grow up and are productive members of society.  So let's all just get along ok?  Bet that makes me a hippy.

    Tuesday, March 9, 2010

    Some Points to Ponder

    Points to ponder....

    1)  What if nobody knew that ignorance was bliss?

    2)  If you try to fail and succeed, which have you done?

    3)  Are people more violently opposed to fur rather than leather because it's much easier to harass rich women than motorcycle gangs?

    4)  When someone asks you, A penny for your thoughts and you put your two cents in, what happens to the other penny?

    5)  Why is it that if someone tells you that there are 1 billion stars in the universe you will believe them, but if they tell you a wall has wet paint you will have to touch it to be sure?

    6)  If you were in a car travelling at the speed of light, what would happen when you turn on the headlights?

    Monday, March 8, 2010

    Group fitness

    Just me, back from the gym.  A few pet peeves to complain about today. 

    1)  Why is it that all the newcomers feel like they need to stand next to me?  Yes, I am in the back row, but do they need to all crowd in next to me?  I have started to wonder if it is because I am the fat chick in the back.   Just to show them loosers otherwise, I usually kick it up a notch... yeah, keep up with that bitch.  I may be fat, but I can kick your butt.

    2)  If you arrive late, you should not push into my space.  I am as nice as the next person, but we had already pushed one person out of our row, then 20 minutes in, during a water break your are going to waltz in and put yourself into the back row.  Not cool.  If you want to be in the back row, get there early.

    3)  It is interesting to watch people fight for their spots.  The regulars have their areas they like to be in and they don't like to have someone take it.  I hate being new to a class because I know I am going to be in someone's spot.  Sometimes it works out and we add the new person to our group and sometimes... yeah not so much.

    At the end of the day, in spite of the fact that you have to deal with other people in a group fitness class, it really is what makes it worth doing.  I know I push myself harder and work out longer when someone is in the front yelling at me.  Also, the peer pressure isn't such a bad thing.  So, I guess I will have to put up with the people.

    That said, if you stroll into a packed kick box class 20 minutes late, go to the front, not the back.  Better yet, jump on a treadmill and wait until next time.

    Sunday, March 7, 2010

    Leg of Lamb

    Who is a little disturbed by the bowl of sheep parts?


    Leg of Lamb anyone?

    Saturday, March 6, 2010

    "Gifted Mom"

    We have been fighting for gifted education over here in Chi-land.  While, I do not actually think that the board thinks gifted education is a bad thing, I do think that they believe it is an easy cut because most people in the district won't be impacted (so they think).  They won't cut special education for kids in the bottom 2% because well, they are mandated to provide services by the government.

    It has been an interesting ride, as a lot of people, not realizing I am a "gifted" mom (I love that new label), have had some not so nice things to say about the program.  Oh, those kids will be fine, just give them another book to read in the back of the classroom.  We shouldn't spend money on the smart kids, they are already smarter than anyone else.  My favorite is:  All the gifted kids are just really kids of rich parents who use their money to get them into the program.  Yeah, that is right all my free lunches provided by the state, I used them to influence the board.  Hey, Mr./Mrs. Board Member come on over and get your free cafeteria lunch and in exchange I want my kid in the gifted education program.  I see that working.

    Mac, not on gifted education... let me see, he will be bored.  He will bug the teacher and the kids in the class.  He will cause so many problems the teacher will beg for mercy.  I will earn a parking space for my frequent trips to the school, people might start to think I am an employee.

    You see, just because Mac is really smart, he has some issues with his emotional iq.  His ability to control himself is, well, somewhat lacking, to put it mildly.  Especially when he is bored.  Gifted Education is Special Education.  A gifted ed teacher has to have certification, and s/he has to be prepared to deal with a variety of social behaviors that are not typical in the regular classroom.  There are high functioning autistic kids in Mac's class, there are kids who struggle with frustration and controlling themselves, there are kids with anxiety disorders, etc.  These teachers have to be able to keep a bunch of kids on track, challenged and help them manage the behavior.  It is a hard job and there is a reason the class sizes are so small!

    When these kids are not focused and challenged, there becomes many behavior problems.  Just imagine, all those kids in one classroom, having tantrums, 25 other kids all at different levels, one teacher with no aide.  Yeah, it would be pretty.  The parents with their kids in the class with the "gifted kids"... they would regret thinking that would be a good thing.

    If it wouldn't be detrimental to my kid, it would almost be funny to do it and let them watch it blow up in their faces.

    Friday, March 5, 2010

    Six words

    Six little words, can you use them to sum up your story? 

    Three kids, tired mommy, chocolate, chocolate.

    New house, no job, new job.

    Knit two, purl two, knit two.

     One, two, three..... four.......... five............... six.

    Don't yell, use your inside voice.

    Too many obligations, not enough time.

    Endless winter,  spring?  Come now.  Please?

    Married, a long time.  Good thing.

    You are dumb.  4's words.  Waaaaaawwaaaaaa.

    I don't want to. No. NO.

    Negotiate.  Ignore.  Plead.  Punish.  Beg.  Argue.

    God is great.  Beer is good.

    Life is good.  Knitting is better.

    Tuesday, March 2, 2010

    A Win

    Advocate for your children, because no one else will.  I live by that motto, I embrace it.  Perhaps this is because my mother never really did this for me.  I was talking to her the other day about a situation where I didn't get a part in a play when I was in 5th grade.  I still feel the sting of that rejection even now.  It was a semi-political decision, and my mother had made the powers that be unhappy.  Hard to imagine, but she didn't want to play with them anymore and they took that out on me.

    I asked her, what if any thing she did to change the situation.  She told me that she did nothing.  That she just let what was going to happen happen.  She wasn't one to rock the boat, or advocate for us kids.  Her words, not mine.  She then went on to say that one thing that she has always been impressed by was how much I advocate for my kids, that I am not afraid to stand up for them.  I can't really say how well this has worked for me, but the truth is, if you screw with my kids I am going to have something to say about it.

    I have advocated for them a lot recently.  Sometimes with a happy result, sometimes I insert myself into situations where I do not belong, and sometimes well, I just muck up the works and make everything worse.  I talk a lot about my screw-ups, but today, we are going to celebrate a win.

    The school board was going to cut Mac's gifted reading program.  Well, as you can imagine, that was not happening on my watch.  So much bad has happened to us since we got here, but the bright spot has always been the education and I was going to go down in a ball of fire before I let this change.  So much of the bad stuff has really been out of our control.  This, at least I had some ability to impact the outcome.  I could lobby the board.  I could ask everyone I know to help out.  I hatched a plan, and then I realized, I was not alone.  I got to meet some amazing people that have done some amazing things for the gifted education in this town.  I was humbled to be in their presence.  When one of them stopped to talk to us in the parking lot as we were gabbing, I was amazed, she talked to me... it was like a freakin' rock star.  These ladies have changed the way gifted education is delivered in this area, they deserve a hats off salute.  They made this happen.  I just got to ride on their coat tails and see it happen.

    Their work paid off.  All the parents lobbied the school board, and guess what, it worked.  They changed their minds.  Mac gets to stay in his special class.  Mac is not going to be left behind.  The system worked.

    Let's put a hash mark in the win column.  YEAH!!!!!!

    Monday, March 1, 2010


    Yes, I read the newspaper.  There was several articles that where very interesting today.

    First, college students are PAYING to get unpaid internships.  They pay upwards of $7,000 to have some one secure them an unpaid internship.  Seriously?  In this current economy, with companies laying off folks, this means everyone has to do more work.  So, you are struggling to get all your work done and a college student comes and tells you that they will help you out for free?  Trust me, this is a win/win for everyone.  So, basically college students are too freakin' lazy to find an unpaid internship themselves.

    The thing that struck me was that one woman was raising money to do this.  She had gotten a scholarship from her school and was going door to door soliciting money.  This kid isn't lazy, just stupid.  Instead of doing all that, just do a little research, write up a resume and cover letter, and create a fishing letter.  Trust me, if she put the amount of effort into looking for an unpaid internship herself that she has put into trying to finance this company to find one for her, she would be ahead of the game!

    Ok, another article.  This was a very nice article about a man that sells newspapers in the Downers Grove station.  He is going blind because of macular degeneration and a bunch of commuters have stepped up to help him.  They did a brief bit about his background, and he served in General Patton's Third Army in WWII.  The Third Army liberated the first concentration camp.

    My Grandfather, Mac, was the chief medical officer for General Patton's Third Army in WWII.  He never shared with us stories of what he experienced liberating the first concentration camp, except to say, that he coordinated their medical care.  I wonder if this man knew my grandfather.  My grandpa was much older at that time, and I would imagine had a much higher position than this man, but perhaps he knew of him.  It makes me want to go to that train station to meet this man.  To talk to him about Mac.

    Finally, an update on our budget cuts here.  Tonight we will have an organizing meeting.  It will be interesting to see what happens.  I hope we can turn this ship around!!