Sunday, February 28, 2010

Weekend Ramblings

It's hard to believe it is already Sunday afternoon.  Where did the time go?

The herd ran five miles yesterday.  I hit the 100 miles mark since I started keeping track in November (I think I hit that milestone a few weeks ago but haven't recorded all my runs).  No sideache!  But I need new shoes.   And I am specifically ignoring the burn in my calf that indicates a muscle tear.

I attended a beautiful baby shower for a cousin yesterday (first cousin, once removed is what we were told).  In all, eleven family members were able to attend.  Five from the "cousins" generation and six from mine.  Amy is the second youngest and expecting a baby girl in three weeks.  It was wonderful to see family and celebrate a sweet new life.

I bagged on a run this morning in order to spend time with my boys.  This past week was insanely busy and I felt I never saw them for more than a few hours at a time on any given night.  I simply wanted to be home.

In keeping with that decision, I also chose to miss a baby shower for my cousin's wife (different cousin, different side of the family) today.  Fidelia is due at the end of April, also with a little girl, and I look forward to the family celebrating in mid-March.  I hope she will forgive me for choosing my boys over her. I simply wanted to be home.

I spent most of today, cleaning, doing laundry, playing trains, reading books, and updating Alexander's blog

I'm watching the first and ONLY Olympic event I have managed to watch since the games began.  The gold medal hockey game.  Kinda boring but still hoping USA pulls it off...I've never been a huge fan of Winter Olympics. 

It's another busy week for me with something planned for each evening.  I hope it passes quickly!  Next weekend is our anniversary.  Thirteen years with my best friend.  I'll save a post about the great guy I married for another day.
Have a great week!

Friday, February 26, 2010

At A Glance

For the past eight years, I have worked with my mom.  She is the librarian.  I'm the PE teacher. Since I'm the gym rat, we don't exactly see a lot of one another since we work on opposite sides of the building from one another.  I often tell the students when they discover she is my mom, that she is the nicer one.  I'm not lying.  It is also 100% true.  She really is the nicest person I know.

My mom is retiring in June.  She is so excited about the new chapter in her life. We all are.  It's time. I have been on the receiving end of many conversations with staff members, responding to me about the news and not one person is glad to see her go.  Well, they want her to be happy but we all know the building won't be the same without her.

The other day, someone asked me what I will miss the most about her being gone.  Today, in a single instant, I knew what it would be.


In a single glance, the woman knows EXACTLY what I am thinking.  I'd like to say it I can tell her thoughts but I suspect she is better at it...she is the mom.  I can pass her in the hallway, make eye contact, say hello, and she knows what type of day I am having.  I can walk into the staff lounge, sit down, look at her, and she immediately knows what's going on.  I can have a meeting with a parent, a student, a co-worker and visit her immediately afterward.  From the first step in the door, she knows.  The good, the bad, the ugly.

We learned very early on that we cannot sit together at staff meetings.  We end up gossiping, making fun of those we dislike, or we burst into laughter over something that amuses only us.  We've learned the boundaries of family versus work.  We've learned to be co-workers and family members. Yet, Dad and Eric still end up telling us to stop the "shop talk".  And we still won't be Facebook friends.  Maybe after retirement. 

Back to today's glance.  Assembly days are not easy for me because it puts the loss of the ASB job in my face.  I sat with my friends.  Mom sat with her friends.  And, along with 1200 kids, we experienced one of the most epic disasters of assemblies that could possibly exist.  I thought I had seen some bad stuff but today's takes the cake.

And at the end, we passed one another on the bleachers.  In one glance, she knew what was in my heart.  The pain.  The anger.  The disappointment. 

That is what I will miss the most when she retires.  Having one person at work who knows me.  In a glance.

After all, who knows you better than your mom?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Slow Internet Connection

I love that my husband is a computer techie.  I love that I don't have to call a 1-800 number to troubleshoot an issue; I just yell "ERIC" at the top of my lungs.  And then he patiently walks me through the issue. And I love that this is his passion and has been since I've known him. 

Tonight our internet connection is SLLLLOOOOWWW!  Abnormally so.  I blame this on Eric's new computer he put in upstairs.  Granted, he bought the new case because the old one was SO LOUD and he became tired of me yelling "ERIC" at 2AM when the damn thing woke me up (yes, he stays up that late gaming, every night).  But everytime he puts together a computer, something is messed up.  He says its the internet itself tonight.  I'm not convinced. While I love his new and improved much quieter computer, and look forward to sleeping without the loud racket of the former computer, I am not loving the kinks that come with the installation.  I miss a fast internet connection.  I know he'll fix it because it is affecting his gaming tonight.  But it is irrittating.

And now he's talking about upgrading the computer that is hooked up to our big screen TV.  Imagine the TV screen as the monitor for your computer.  Through this computer, we have the Blu-Ray DVD player and download movies from netflix as well as surf the net, if we choose.  I'd hate to think of the kinks that might result of him re-doing THAT computer.  But more harddrive space would be nice so I'm sure we'll be buying a new computer in the next two weeks.

So, let's do a little math.  That's one computer in our bedroom that Eric games on.  A second computer in our bedroom that has Itunes and old files on it that he needs to crash but just surfs on while he games.  A third computer in the living room that is hooked to the TV.  And my laptop.

And yet, the internet isn't moving any faster than it was 15 minutes ago.  No matter how many computers it has to run through.

Oh well.  I still love my computer techie.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Bags Have Bags

I officially cannot recall the exact day I last felt rested.  Maybe it was the day of my 20th high school reunion, when Eric took the baby and gave me the afternoon to nap and get ready.  Maybe it was the day my sister took her nephew for the night (I think I was up at 7AM and went for a run which defeated any sleeping in).  Maybe it was over Christmas Break when I forced myself to take daily naps.
I truly don't know.

Regardless, having a toddler changes everything.  Shoot, having a kid changes everything but I had no idea I would never regain healthy sleep habits.  Today, a student told me that my make up was running under my eyes and I had dark smudges (gotta love when they care about you enough to tell you that you look bad).  No dear, those aren't dark smudges from make up...
those are dark smudges from THE LACK OF SLEEP I live with on a daily basis. 

Yesterday, I was looking through old pictures.   I look more rested during the nine months when I was on maternity leave than I have looked the past two years!  Sadly, I'm not even sure how I can begin to regain sleep.  Most nights, my sleep is interrupted by the cat screaming at something outside or Eric snoring beside me.  I can NEVER sleep when the baby is awake so even when I'm dying for a nap, luck would have it that Alexander doesn't want  a nap.  Even if I'm in bed by 9 (which is a good night), I can't unwind for a good hour.  Before I realize it, my alarm is going off at 5:15.
And it starts all over again.

I thought it was a lie when I heard that skin looses elasticity as you grow older.  
It's not.
I even use top shelf eye cream and the bags continue to mulitply.

Just take one look at this photo, taken during vacation when you would have slept well.  
Notice that this 38 year old isn't exactly looking like a spring chicken these days...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

True Story Tuesday: Being a Leader

I'm VERY proud of my siblings.  My brother received a job offer yesterday as a show director for a big amusement park (not the one with Mickey Mouse - the OTHER one).  My sister has been working as a director of catering for a prestigious hotel in the downtown area (not a chain but BIG) for the past six months.  They are amazing adults and I love them dearly.

True Story.

Both are natural leaders and perfectly suited for these management jobs.  I giggle with joy when I think of them, sitting in their big offices, with windows and their own phone extensions, managing their teams. 

True Story.

Unless you are an administrator in the world of public education, there really aren't many opportunities to be a leader or director. While my life is more about being a mom and wife right now, there is a part of me that needs to be a leader.

True Story.

So, I'm signing up for National Boards Certification.  This is the second year that physical education has been offered and only one person in our district has the PE National Board Certification.  They say I will commit 400 hours to complete the program, which is equivalent to 10 work weeks.  This is on top of my current work load.  It can take up to two years to complete (if you don't pass the first time). The good news is that it is completely paid for by the district.

True Story.

 They say you become a better teacher after completing the program.  Truth be told, I'm ready.  Ready for something new.  Something exciting.  And something that will remind this leader why, fifteen years ago, she became a teacher and not an administrator.

True Story.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Home, Sweet, Home

this week passed quickly...

We're exhausted.  The bags under my eyes have bags of their own. I need to sleep for a week to catch up on the sleep I missed the last few days.   I have loads of laundry and a house to clean before the work week begins.  We ate WAY too much good food and drank plenty of beer.

the sun was good to us.

 Alexander spent the first four days in Arizona being spoiled by his Big Papa and Umma.  I spent four days in Arizona being spoiled by Big Papa and Umma.  
Every day should involve warm weather, cocktails, a good book, and a Big Papa and Umma to give Mommy time to rest.

we love Disneyland.

  Eric and I have vacationed at  Disneyland at least 10 times together and this time was the best.  BY FAR.  Disneyland with a child is like no other visit.  Different pace.  Different rides.  Different experience.
Our son loved the past three days at The Happiest Place on Earth and we're convinced he was the Happiest Toddler on Earth.  He loved big rides, fast rides, trains, driving cars, and roller coasters.  He is a great traveler too.
There is no doubt that our visit to Disneyworld in six weeks will be a success.

but the best part...was being together.*

*Of the 100+ photos taken on this vacation, this is one of only where all three of us are looking at the camera with our eyes open.  I hope we have better luck in Disneyworld!  Sheesh!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Vacation, Here I Come!!

Tomorrow afternoon, I'm taking my little man and getting the hecktor (trying not to swear in 2010) out of town!!  The bags are packed.  The camera and ipod's are charged. 
It's mid-winter break and I NEED A BREAK!!
For the first time, my little man will see this view from his seat.

We'll be arriving to warm temperatures, loving grandparents eager to see their sweet boy, and many views like this one. 

I'll be spending hours hanging about in the warm sunshine while the grandparents spend every minute with their grandson (only thing missing from this picture is a good book and a cocktail!)

And finally, we'll meet up with Eric and spend the weekend HERE!!!

Do you suppose it's too early to book tickets for next year?

Friday, February 12, 2010


...the new do!  However, before I present it, a couple of things MUST be noted:

  1. I have huge bags under my eyes because I stayed up REALLY late last night reading Catching Fire which is the sequel to Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  I blame the late night on my cousin Jodie who, as a middle school English teacher, often shares "must read" books.  She fails to share that I "must NOT" stay up to 1AM reading the damn things.  But it was definitely a "must read" book.
  2. I ran three miles before going to my haircut.  Without stopping.  In the rain.
  3. The picture with Alexander is terrible of me but really cute of my boy so I had to share.
  4. It's Friday.  Enough said.
I don't know if you'll like the cut or not.  But I love it and am SO happy with the decision to make the change.  My hairdresser is amazing and always knows what looks best for me.  So, I added a picture of her and I, taken on my cell phone after my hair cut tonight.  Some of you might recognize her from a certain "fat people show" (her words, not mine).  She's been cutting my hair for thirteen years and I'm happy to say we have formed a wonderful friendship.  She inspires me.


So....what do ya think??

Change is not easy.

Change is not easy.  It is healthy, though.

And I'm having serious cold feet over cutting my hair.  Now, many of you may be chuckling that I'm talking about my hair.  AGAIN.   We all have our "issues".  Be it weight gain/loss, shopping for that 9th pair of jeans, handbags, shoes, cooking or writing on a blog every single day.  For me, my hair is my high maintenance issue.  So, the very idea of cutting off almost 7 inches is freaking me out.  The very idea of changing the one thing I have total control over is freaky.

Change is not easy.  It is healthy, though.

Don't fret.  I'm doing it.  I may need my hairdresser to give me a hug and dry some tears when it done but she'll do it.  She's a good friend, like that.  But I woke up this morning and freaked out.  Of course, when I threw it back into a messy bun for what must be the 30th day in a row, I re-affirmed to myself that the time is here.

Change is not easy.  It is healthy, though.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


At leadership camp, the staff brings in a square dance instructor for one evening.  It is amazing to watch these high school kids, who are total strangers to one another, wrap arms around each other, laugh and giggle, as they walk through square dance steps.  The instructor is a wonderful little old man who is sarcastic as all get out and the kids learn to appreciate his humor throughout the event.  One of the best things about leadership camp is pushing kids to step outside their comfort zone and empower them as individuals to lead others.

So, my little brain got to thinking this year and I decided to set up square dance for my PE9 students.  Today, that wonderful little old man is in my gym, walking the kids through the steps.  Lo and behold, they are laughing and giggling and have a great ol' time.  Understandably, freshman aren't as willing to step out of the comfort zone and try new things.  Asking them to step into a square dance zone, hold hands with their classmates and try something new was a stretch for many.  The complaints were loud and strong but within 10 minutes, they had forgotten I was on the sideline and are in there, having a great time.  It probably helped that the wonderful little old man kicked me out and told them HE was their teacher today.  They loved it.

It makes me think of my own life and the opportunities I have to step outside my comfort zone.  Do opportunities come my way but I pass them up because I don't think I can do it or it is out of my normal routine?  Do I instantly start to complain and worry, rather than think of the good that can come out of the event?  I think these moments are fewer as I grow up.  But this weekend, I'll be faced with one as I take Alexander on his first plane ride.  By myself.  I'm really not worried about traveling with him;  I'm more worried about all the gear.  After a minor freak out last night, however, I've decided to think about it as a great adventure.  We are going to have a wonderful week and for a few hours on Sunday, Alexander and I are going to create our own dance steps as we travel alone in this adventure.

Don't be afraid to do-sa-do every now again and step out of your comfort zone.  Find the positive in a challenge, rather than think of the negative first.  It's good for you!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

And The Winner Is...

to be announced tomorrow night!  I love reading all the comments about my hair.  I'm fully obsessed and have asked multiple sources for input. 

I'll tabulate the votes (feel free to add your input) and it all comes down to what Suzy decides tomorrow night for me.  She has cut my hair for 13 years and I trust her one hundred percent.

Check back in the next 2 days to see the new me!! 
Oh, I'm so giddy about the change.  Giddy. 

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Where did the Weekend Go?

It's Sunday night.  The Saints have pulled off their big Super Bowl win.  The house is empty of guests, the dishwasher is running, and we're watching cartoons on NickJr.

And I'm exhausted.  I have no idea where the weekend went or what we did.

I think...
I went out with my high school friends on Friday night and got home around 3AM. 

I think...
I drank a lot of beer, laughed at old memories, and ignored the cold symptoms that grew stronger as the night wore on.

I think...
Alexander and I spent Saturday (once Mommy pulled it together enough to get out of bed) at Lorelli's 7th birthday party.  18 first graders.  And a three year old. 

I think...
I cleaned our house, did four loads of laundry, and grocery shopped.  All before noon.  And  THEN ran four miles with a girlfriend.  In the rain.

I think...
my family came over this afternoon to celebrate Lorelli's real birthday today.  We watched the Super Bowl (oh, when the saints...).  And ate WAY too much nummy food.

I think...
my cold progressed over the weekend and a sinus infection is settling in.  I need to kill it before we leave for AZ on Sunday.  Alexander has a cold too and I'm just hoping we don't end up with ear infections if we fly in our current state.

I know...
I'm ready for bed.  And it isn't even 8PM!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I do love making lists

The post title says it all.  I love me a good list.  Even better than making the list is the satisfaction I feel AFTER I cross items off the list.  I make lists for everything and they sit on nearly every surface in the house.  It was a major victory when Eric gave me the green light to make a list for HIM to complete and tape to the fridge.  Apparently, he doesn't feel the same satisfaction with crossing items list as nothing has been finished on his list (hope springs eternal, right?) 

Right now, I have a grocery list.  A big project to-do list (you know the one:  clean utility drawer, take back clothes, go through baby clothes, clean out closets, etc.)  I have a list at work which keeps my grades updated and my counters clean.  There is a list of weekend chores that repeats itself but is efficient. 

And then there is the vacation list.  The big-picture "what to pack" portion of the list.  The "carry on" bag" list.  The "checked bag" list.  The "what to borrow from friends" list.  The "what needs to be bought" list.  The "what needs to be done before we leave" list. The "Alexander" list.  The "Michelle" list.  I'm not allowed to make an Eric list ever since the vacation when we both thought we had packed pants for Eric only to find out neither of us had packed for him.  Eric now has to fend for himself when it comes to packing.

Once the list is complete, I will actually start packing days in advance.  I'll pack, unpack and then repack.  I'll try on clothes, discard clothes, and feel an urgent need to shop for MORE clothes.  Fortunately, I can fit into most of the pre-pregnancy clothes so 2006 fashion is alive and kicking it once more.  I'll cross things off the vacation list, add more items, and then forget all about the list on the eve of our departure because my stress levels will be through the roof.

I have learned to refrain from making a list of all the things we should do while on vacation.  I have learned to live in the moment and let myself relax on vacation.  I have learned to let the days unfold as they will and enjoy them.  And I have learned that if there is one day where we do nothing but hang out at the hotel, order room service, and sleep, that's just as good as making a list.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

True Story Tuesday

Remember the post about my impromptu offer to match whatever money my students raised for Haiti Relief?  Since that day, I have received a little over $1000.00 to help me with my pledge.  Eric is relieved that I didn't have to tap our savings acct after all.

True Story.

It's official.  The herd is running a half marathon in June.

True Story.

In September, if you had told me I would become a runner, I would have laughed in your face.  Since November, I have run almost 90miles. 

True Story.

I have a meeting after work today.  I would rather stick bamboo shoots under my fingernails than attend this meeting.

True Story.

Eric says we are starting the house remodel this spring.  The man has never let me down before so I should believe him.  However, I think I'll reserve my excitement until the machines roll in and start digging in the dirt.  Until then...this girl will be cautiously optimistic. 

True Story.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Weigh In: Week 4

No loss.  No gain.  No writing in the Weight Watchers journal the past three days. 
Even if I did run 9 miles, if I don't write down what I eat, I cheat.

Lesson learned.