Thursday, September 30, 2010

Two in One

Since I didn't have a chance to post yesterday, I'm posting two today.  I like to stay on schedule.

Day 8: Three turn ons.

1.  Two songs come to mind:  With or Without You by U2.  Son of a Preacher Man by Dusty Springfield.  Play those songs and I'm a sure thing.  Just ask my husband.

2.  Sleep.  Uninterupted sleep that leads to sleeping in.  With my husband.

3.  A man who cooks a meal for me.  I love sitting in our kitchen, with a glass of red wine, watching my husband cook. 

Since my husband is the common thread, clearly Eric is my greatest turn on.
As it should be.

Day 9: Two words that describe your life right now.

1.  Content.  I used to laugh at Eric when he used this word to describe how he felt.  Now, I use it because it is the word that fits.  I'm content with where I am in life.  I have no further wishes, waiting to be granted.  I have very few regrets.  I am loved fiercely by my husband and son.  I have an amazing family who would do anything for me.  What more could I need?

2.  Blessed.  I am blessed to have a loving husband, who is secure and confident.  He only wants me to be happy.  I am blessed to have a child, after years of infertility struggles.  I am blessed to have a job, in a time when so many have found themselves unemployed.  I am blessed to have found friends who make me a better person.  There is very little want in my life.  I am blessed.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day 7: Four turn offs.

1.  A liar.  Not only someone who tells lies to me but someone who lies to themself and conceals true character.

2.  Selfishness.  I might use the phrase, "it is all about me" but it is in jest.  Being selfish is not in my character and I am not attracted to it.  Try asking open-ended questions of a person.  You could learn more about them than you ever realized. 

3.  Smelly people.  More especially-unwashed clothing.  Which could explain my obsession with doing laundry.  I try not to judge but smelly people are definitely turn offs. 

4.  Meat on the bone.  Different foods touching on a plate.  Most exotic or ethnic foods.  Or any of my other 100 food quirks.  I won't bore you with those details.  As it is, I'm sure you're already learning more than you ever wanted to know about me due to this blog challenge.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Day 6: Five people who mean a lot to me.
I think this is a loaded question.  And the Libra in me hates it. 
What if I offend someone who isn't in the 5?  And again, it goes wihout saying,
Alexander and Eric would be first on the list/
This question makes me dislike this blog challenge but I'm committed...

1.  Leadership Camp Senior Counselors: 
They inspire me, challenge me, and push me to better than I am.  They remind me of the good in people.  Despite camp being seven days, and all of us are on our best behavior, I trust these folks to be honest with me.  They are incredible people who live the Rainier Magic every day of their lives.  It's just who they are and I aspire to be more like them. Plus, they listened to me complain about "the job" for six years and were the first ones I wanted to tell when I was offered it this year.  They get it.  And me.

2 and 3.  My brother and sister:
Our relationships have strengthened over the years.  I can be totally pissed off at them in one minute and completely defend them in the next.  I am the oldest of three and I have always and continue to love them with a fierceness to protect and hover over them.  I have learned that they don't need my protection so our adult friendships have morphed into even playing fields.  While they are the first to frustrate me; they are also the first to support, encourage, and love me.  I am immensely proud of them for where they are in their lives, careers, and with their families. 

4.  My cousin Jodie:
She is my best friend.  She validates me.  She calls me on my shit.  She makes me a better person.  I don't see her near as much as I should (what happened to our monthly dinner visit plan?).  When I do see her, she has to make the trek to us but she never complains about it.  I should make more of an effort but she gets where I am in life and accepts me for it.  She loves my husband.  And she loves my son almost as much as I do.  And she cried about my cat, too. 

5.  My ASB students:
They rock.  They push me to do my best as a teacher.  And they have totally stepped up with a new advisor who knew nothing about their plans for the year.  They know I am a control freak but have understood, better than I it seems, that I would be busy with this new job.  So, they have stepped in when needed, without being asked, and not one single task has been dropped by the team.  That's saying a lot when working with 40+ student-leaders.  And they eat all my candy...which my arse doesn't need, so it's a good thing.

Ok, maybe that wasn't as hard as I thought.  Just don't be mad if you didn't make the list.  It did only allow for five people and these people came to mind tonight. 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

If I could change one thing...

Day 5: Six things I wish I could change or wish I would have never done.
This entry is a fascinating one for me.  I try, really try, to live my life without regrets.  I'm not very impulsive so thinking before acting is pretty common for me. 
Yet, the challenge is to come up with six, here we go.
1.  I never should have gone to Alaska during the summer of '91 to work.  Granted, it allowed me to spend time with family in Anchorage.  However, I also gained 70lbs in three months.  Yes.  You read that correctly.  I ate my way through the adventure.  And I came home fat.  I hated it.  I never should have gone. 
2.  I wish I could have been at Grandma Roma's memorial service.  But I was in Alaska.  Getting fat.  Everytime I eat zucchini bread (in moderation), I think of Roma and how I didn't say goodbye. 
3.  I never should have dated my best friend from high school.  And that's all I have to say about THAT.
4.  I wish I had been more honest with my best friend from college, when we were living together (post college).  Instead of being honest, I cut all ties soon after her first child was born.  She and I have since cleaned the air and rekindled the friendship.  But I lost ten years of her life.  I often wonder what and how life would be if we hadn't lost that time together.
5.  I wish I had gone to the endrocronologist sooner to determine the cause of the infertility. Maybe if I hadn't been so stubborn about going to a doctor, we would have two little boys in the house.  Or maybe not.  At least I have one sweet face that makes me grin.  And he's more than enough for my heart.
6.  I wish we didn't have to put Schmoo to sleep tomorrow.  He's our first baby.  Schmoo was the one who cuddled with me and listened to me sob when infertility was at its darkest.  He is so sweet and gentle, and I love when he curls up on my lap when I'm reading.  We found him as a stray at the pound in 2000 as a Valentine's/Anniversary gift for me.  We first suspected he was sick at the beginning of this summer.  We changed his food and he seemed to improve.  Early last week, we realized he was scrambling to jump up and decided it was time to see a vet.  On Friday, the blood tests showed cancer and the doctor thinks it is in his colon.  Schmoo has wasted down to less than 5lbs, despite eating all the time, and isn't able to absorb the nutrients.  The doctor said we could bring him home for the weekend and we've been spoiling him with all the food he wants, even if it means I clean up cat puke for days. 
Tomorrow, my baby is going to sleep.  And I'll miss him terribly. 

 Schmoo would always cuddle up close to my preggo belly and purr into it. 
Until the day Alexander kicked him. 
Maybe that's the reason he gives Alexander a three foot width whenever they are in the same room,

We saw those eyes and fell in love.
Goodbye Schmoo-kitty.  We'll miss you.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

What's on my mind?

Day 4: Seven things that cross my mind a lot.

1.  I can't believe I'm being paid for a job that brings me such joy. 

2.  Any minute, my boss is going to walk in and tell me they have changed their mind and I'm done (turns out this is called "Impostor Syndrome").

3.  I wish I was better at balancing wife, mother, and working parent.  I feel I'm pretty adequate during the summer months.  During the school year...I totally suck.

4.  Reminding myself that spending time with Alexander, playing trains or coloring, is more important than cleaning the house or surfing the Internet.  Even as laundry piles up around me.

5.  I constantly think about what I eat and how much exercise I have done for that day.  And hope for the day when I can let the issues go.

6.  Sleep.  Coffee.  Sleep.  Coffee.  In that order.

7.  Better take a picture because this (whatever this may be) is blog-worthy.


Friday, September 24, 2010

What I Can't Live Without

Day 3: Eight things I couldn't live without.

**I'm taking a materialistic angle with this post.  Obviously, it should be known, without saying, that I can't live without my friends and family.

1.  My hair straightener, which keeps me from having wavy, frizzy hair.  This leads leads me to think of my hair dresser, who is actually what I could live without.  Suzy has been my hair dresser for thirteen years.  We have been through many cuts and colors together.  In the past five years, I would say our lives have melded from client-hair-dresser to friends.  For what it is worth, Suzy was on the Biggest Loser in Season 2 but was my hair dresser long before she was a celebrity. 

2.  My Keurig coffee maker.  It's almost been a year since I've converted to the Keurig and I must say, I'll never go back.  I love it.  It's efficient.  It's strong.  And it's WAY cheaper than buying Starbucks every day.

3.  My washer and dryer.  Weird, right?  I love doing laundry.  I love how, when it is done, you know the task is done.  I love how clean and crisp my clothes are after a load of laundry.  And I love the routine of it. 

5.  My laptop.  It's actually the school district's laptop but boy, do I love it.  Updating the blogs.  Facebook.  Email.  Keeps me sane.

6.  My Blackberry Curve.  Two years ago, Eric gave me one for my birthday.  Currently, Eric and I are in negotiations for iPhones.  He wants one.  I don't.  I just love my curve too much to say goodbye.

7.  My house.  I loved it from the minute I pulled up the driveway and opened the front door.  It's quirky.  It's open.  It's full of natural sunlight all year long (we don't have blinds on any windows, except Alexander).  And I truly believe that Alexander was meant to live in this house because the day after we closed on it, we found out we were pregnant.  And I don't really believe in coincidences, ya know?

8.  My job.  I am lucky enough to have found a job that fulfills me to the soul.  I put in 10 hours a day and can't wait to go back and put in another 10 hour day.  Over and over again.  Funny thing is...Eric has found the same thing with his stay-at-home gig.  The happiness in our jobs is something neither of us can live without.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wanna know a secret?

Day 2: Nine things about yourself that most people don't know.

1.  My deepest fear is Alexander will be abducted.  Ok, maybe my deepest fear is he will drown.  Ok, maybe my deepest fear is Alexander and Eric will die in a car crash.  Together.  Yep, that's my deepest fear.  Losing my boys.  I guess it really doesn't matter how it would happen.  I simply fear they will die and I will be alone.

2.  I'm innately shy.  I've learned how to adapt and cover the shyness in most situations.  But when it comes down to it, I am shy.  Most would disagree, based on my outgoing personality but those who know me best, know this to be true.
3.  I don't take on challenges if I believe I am going to fail.  Rather ironic for a person who loves working with student-leaders in situations where I encourage them fail so they can learn from the experience.  But failure is a weakness to me.  So, I'll stay up all night, working on a project, and push kids to their limits to keep them from failing.  But if you tried doing that me, I'd push you right back.  I just won't go into the situation if I won't be successful.
4.  I plan my funeral and memorial service in my head, all the time.  I hear a song and think, "that would be great at my funeral".  I think about reserving the high school gym for the service and wonder how many people would arrive.  I often write eulogies for myself, as well.  It's weird.  It's twisted.  Yet, I have a serious kick-ass party planned in my head for when I go. 
5.  I cannot and do not tolerate incompetence.  If you can't do the job, find one you can do and get out of my way.
6.  I'm a homebody who doesn't like to miss a party.  Ironic for someone who is shy, right?  I am ok with missing events but when it comes to a party, I HATE to miss out.  Case in point:  my high school friends had the second annual golf tournament this summer (first one was for our high school reunion).  I was at leadership camp.  And it still bugs me, four month later, that I missed out. 
7.   I step on the scale every morning.  And let the number decide my frame of mind.  Every day.
8.  I count Christmas presents. Just like my mom. I make sure everyone we give to, has the same amount of presents as everyone else.  I used to make fun of my mom for doing it.  Until the moment I realized I was unconsciously making sure everyone had the same number of gifts from us.  I can't explain it.  I just do it.
9.  I love my birthday.  Oh wait.  Most people who know me, know that about me.  (How's that for a subtle reminder that my birthday 10 days away?!  I warned you - I love my birthday.) 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A blog challenge

I saw this challenge on All In My Twenties by Kristen.

I thought I'd try it, simply because I want to know if I can blog 10 days in a row.

Day 1: Ten things you want to say to ten people right now.
Day 2: Nine things about yourself that most people don't know.
Day 3: Eight things you couldn't live without.
Day 4: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Day 5: Six things you wish you could change or wish you would have never done.
Day 6: Five people who mean a lot to you.
Day 7: Four turn offs.
Day 8: Three turn ons.
Day 9: Two words that describe your life right now.
Day 10: One confession.
Ten things I want to say to ten people right now.  I have no idea why these 10...the names just came to me as I was writing.
1.  Eric - my sweet husband of 13 years.  Thank you for being logical, level headed and patient when I need it the most.  Thank you for raising our sweet boy and taking care of our home.  Thank you for being my rock and foundation.  And please don't forget my birthday this year.  I'm not sure I can forgive two years in a row.
2.  Alexander - my sweet 3 1/2 year old.  Thank you for making me laugh and filling my heart with happiness.  Every day.  You hold my heart, sweet boy.  And you were worth every dark minute of infertility.
3.  My dad:  I'm proud of you for facing each day, since your diagnosis a year ago.  You're the strongest man I know.
4.  My mother-in-law, Betsy:  I'm lucky to have a mother-in-law that I love like my own mother.  You keep Eric sane, you adore my son, and you make us celebrate holidays throughout the year, which is way more fun.  Even if I'm not ready to celebrate Christmas at the end of October this year...
5.  My grandma, Grace:  I'm a terrible granddaughter who never visits you, like I should.  But I think of you, especially when I update the blogs because I know how much you enjoy reading them.  And I think of you when I pass by a tennis match, golf game or other sporting event on the TV.  I always wonder if you are watching that very thing as I pass by.  I like to think you are. We love you, Grandma Great.
6 and 7.  Jodie and Fidelia:  October 2.  My birthday.  Our triad.  Need I say more?
8.  Singer:  Look forward.  Be strong.  Travel.  Find your confidence for it has never left you.  You just forgot where you hid it for seven years.
9.  Bates:  you make me laugh and I really, really like that about you.  I always have.  I love that we are family.  And friends.  Especially when, as my friend, you gently remind me to update my blogs.  I need that reminder.
10.  My mom:  I miss you at work.  I love that I tell people how happy you are in retirement.  And the blue tablecloths really do bring color to my dismal office.  And I give you permission to call Eric anytime you want to see Alexander during the day.  Don't wait for the invitation - it's always open to you.  So is my new office. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Why I don't eat at work. Ever..

When I get home from work, after I hug my boys, I make a beeline for the kitchen.  Eric stopped me today and asked why I don't eat at work.  Ever.

I have two excuses, which I explained to him. 
As I was grabbing the box of Wheat Thins.

1.  My day is so busy that I have to grab food that is "walkable" for my lunch.  I supervise both lunches by wandering the hallways and stopping in to talk with my friends (who should be teaching but secretly, love when I interrupt their classes).  Today, my food intake consisted of string cheese, carrots, and a handful of wheat thins.  Oh, and part of a protein bar that had the worst texture and completely grossed me out.  It really should come as no surprise that I've lost 7 lbs since I started this new job.  And I don't take the time to really think about making my lunch because well...I don't cook.  Thus, I don't think about preparing food.

2.   I don't like people seeing me eat at work.  I know that is unhealthy behavior.  For those who know me well, this does not come as a huge surprise.  I have an unhealthy relationship with food.   Ask any of my students and most will tell you that they have never seen me eat at work.  In 15 years of teaching, that is the one thing I could never overcome, except during pregnancy when I HAD to eat.  Yes, I know it's weird.  But I have weird food quirks.  And eating in front of students, is one of them.  Don't even get me started about eating meat on the bone.  Shudder.   SO GROSS.

Anyhow, my office is ALWAYS full of kids.  And I'm certainly not going to kick them out so I can eat lunch.  That's just rude. 

So, I don't eat.

I know, it's unhealthy to miss meals. I know I need to make sandwiches or take foods that allow me to eat and walk. I know I should take food that forces me to sit down and eat. I get it .
For crying out loud, I'm a PE teacher and I KNOW that I should eat.

But I don't.
All that being said, we are going to my favorite Italian restaurant tonight!  Spaghetti and red wine.  Deliciousness. 

Too bad I won't be able to eat the leftovers at work tomorrow!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Book Club and a New Bloggy Look

First, the new blog look. I decided I wanted something bold for the blog.  With the new job, I've found myself having to be rather bold at work. Nothing major.  Yet, my voice is a bit more authoritative.  I am wearing grown up clothes.  And they did give me that new fancy radio, to carry around campus.

So, I decided the blog needed to reflect how I'm feeling.  I have to admit. I love the browns.  I'm not overly keen about the header, though.  It may be the green that is throwing me off.  I'll have to figure out what to do about that piece tomorrow.  What do you think??
*edited to add - I couldn't wait until tomorrow so the header you see now, is the one I think I'll keep
I hosted Book Club tonight.  I hate to choose the book, by the way.  I feel way too much pressure.  So, I researched best seller lists and chose "Opposite of Me" (have YOU read it?), .  I invited my closest girlfriends, via Facebook, chose a date, and asked everyone to come over with snacks and/or beverages in hand.  Like events hosted through ASB at school, I figured I'd give people the opportunity and let them decide for themselves, if they want to be a part of this event or not.  Yes, this meant my worlds of friends had to collide but I was really ok with having high school, college and adult friends hang out. 

There were about 8 of us, plenty of food and wine, and a lot of laughter and discussion. The consesus is that the book is a great beach read, with deeper threads about perception - internal and external.  In hindsight, I should have chose "The Art of Racing" (which I really really enjoyed) but with my sweet kitty being sick, I didn't have the heart to choose a book about an animal.   I really hope we'll continue to meet.  Next meeting we are planning to read, "Are Men Necessary?".  It was suggested as a joke but naturally, we chose it.  None of us are men bashers so it should lead to interesting discussion.

Now, it's a matter of throwing out the date and book title again and let people choose for themselves. 
Either way, I'm in!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Not exactly the ego boost I was looking for

"Ms. M, we just wanted to thank you for leaving PE this year".

"Oh?  I thought you missed me."

"Well, we did.  The new PE teacher showed up today.  She's WAY hotter than you."

"'re welcome?"

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Computer Crash

For years, I have borrowed a computer from the school district.  Never had to pay a dime and the laptop I borrowed always got the job done.

On Thursday night, I turned on the laptop, only to find out it would no longer boot up.

My son's 3 1/2 years of life photos are on that computer. I knew better than to store the photos on a laptop but convenience is a good thing.

Thankfully, we had saved most on a external drive at home.


The school district computer gurus hold the fate of my computer in their hands.

Oy.  I really hate to think we are going to lose year 3 due to a computer glich.

Keep your fingers crossed that all will be well!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Good-Bye National Board Certification!!

Six months (or so) I signed up for National Boards Certification.  It is a program that requires 400 hours (about 10 weeks) of worktime, in addition, to a regular teaching schedule in which you videotape several lessons, write 15-20 page papers, and show evidence of how your lessons are effective teaching for student learning.

At the time, I needed a challenge.  The National Boards is a great program.  It helps a teacher to break down his/her teaching and reflect on what is working and what isn't working.  In our state, less than 1% of PE teachers are certified.  I admit, the esteem of being one of the few to reach certification was as appealing to me as the challenge of becoming a "student' once again.

When I accepted the new job as Activity Coordinator/Dean of Students, I realized there was no way I could also do National Boards.  Not only am I not in a PE classroom setting, I don't have the time to commit to the program.  After further conversations with my administrative team, it became very clear that doing NB this year would be foolish.  I sent an email a week or so ago, inquiring about how to be released and received an email that stated they could make it work for me, despite the new job.

That answer wasn't good enough for me.  I needed out of NB.   So, today, I sent an email stating, "I wish to be released" and...the next thing I know, I'm released!

Oh, the freedom!  The relief!  The joy!  

Maybe someday I'll seek the certification.

But I doubt it.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Baby On The Mind

Lately, I can't stop thinking about having another baby.  Seems like only yesterday that I spent my days, cuddling and napping on the couch with this little guy.
I miss having a baby in the house.

No, we are not having another baby.  I am not pregnant, nor do I have any plans to become so.

There are moments when "baby fever" sneaks up on me and I'm floored with the desire to have another baby.

 The three of us went to see Toy Story 3 last night.  The movie came out months ago and every time we saw a commerical, I cried.  Big crocodille tears.  So, it came as no surprise that I bawled like a baby throughout the movie.  Oh, I smiled, too.  And I laughed.  But, *spoiler alert*  for those of you who have seen it, and you know the ending where the toys are on the lawn with Bonnie and Andy...well, I bawled. 

Alexander starts preschool on Thursday.  My baby is going to school.  The beginning of a new chapter and of the three of us, I'm the least ready for the change.  

  I have to trust total strangers to make sure he wears his coat outside, doesn't eat peanuts, and teach him social skills.  Up until now, that has been my job. 

My job is changing.
Is it so wrong that I want another baby so I can have my job back?

Friday, September 3, 2010

And I STILL love my job - split pants and all!

Recap of today's events:

7:45am - Pants split while bending to pick up a box of handbooks in the book room (thankfully, I was alone).    Ended up spending the day in sweats, trying to act all administrative-like while speaking to classes about the handbook and school rules.  
Yes.  You may laugh.

 The Rip.

8:45-12:45 - Full power outage. Really, do I need to say more?

1:30-2:15PM- Kick off assembly with new sound system in gym. Power outage messed up the settings with system and lighting but kids were awesome about the issues.  The perfectionist in me wanted to throw up.

3:15 - 5:30pm - Home with boys.  Ate dinner and hung out.  And changed into jeans.  Let's hope they hold up better than today's clothing selection.

5:30-11pm - Supervision at football game and after game dance.  

11:30PM - Beer in hand.

And I loved every minute...well, except the part where my ass was hanging out of my pants.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Job Update

I love it.

It's fast paced. It's constant problem solving and decision making.  It's listening to people, without fixing their issues.  It's validating others without giving advice (unless it is asked for).  And it is interacting with students and staff in a different role but as the same Michelle.  Does that even make sense?  

Let me break it down for you.
It is leadership camp every single day.

I have my own office in the hub of the school.  I love that staff and students stop by, even if it is to pick up a piece of candy.  I love that my sweet mom sewed and ironed tablecloths for the tables in my office because she said it needed color.
She's right.

I'm wearing grown up clothes and it takes me 20 minutes longer in the morning to figure out what I'm going to wear.  I shopped all weekend, hit sales, and pretended I actually have the money to pay for all the clothes.
I have blisters covering my toes due to these rookie feet, which never ever EVER wear heels.

More importantly, I love the excuse to accessorize the outfits.  Seriously love it.

Apparently, they think I'm so important that they gave me this as an accessory.

It doesn't match my outfits.  It's bulky.  I don't really know what to do with it because it is awkward to carry. And the battery is constantly falling off the back when I try to talk so I end up fumbling to put the battery back in just to repeat myself 3 times.   More than once, I've hooked up the battery, only to hear someone else laughing on the other end!  Can't say I blame them.
Maybe I'll ask the technology team for Secret Service earbuds instead.
Now, that would be a cool accessory.