Friday, February 29, 2008

What will I be when I grow up?

Like most parents, I wonder frequently what the girls will be like when they grow up. When they play with the dogs, I wonder if they will be a vet. When they draw pictures, I wonder if they will be artists. Maybe teachers or doctors or just goofy girls. Right now they both want to be cheerleaders. Last week we went to an exhibit at Crown Center giving kids the chance to pretend do different jobs.

Will Kaylin be a cook?

or a fireman like her daddy?

or maybe the President of the United States?

or a professional surfer?

or a doctor? (notice the correct placement of the paddles; she had help)

or maybe she'll bring us the nightly news.

Whatever she chooss to be, my only advice to her is the advice my dad has said to me for as long as I can remember--do what makes you happy, regardless of money, circumstanes, whatever. Do what makes you happy.

In case you're wondering where Macy was, she was pouting in the corner because she said there were too many kids in there. I believe she'll be a drama queen when she grows up.

Happy Leap Day!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Happy News!

My cousin David and his wife Samantha will be getting a baby girl the end of March! They've been trying to adopt for some time. They will fly to Tokyo March 24th. They will be there a couple weeks, then bring her home. Her Japanese name is Kaori. They will keep that name and give her an American name as well. David and Samantha live in Knoxville.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Don't argue with a 4-year-old

Forget the terrible two's--Kaylin has hit the Terrible Four's in full force. Trying to reason with her all of a sudden is impossible. Knowing this, I can't believe the argument I just got into with her.

As an English teacher, I know that their grammar fixes itself as they start into school and hearing correct grammar. I know not to try to fix what they say. I know just to let it go. I know she will speak correctly.

But all day Kaylin has been saying, "Look what I done." I ignored it, ignored it, ignored it. All day she has argued with me, and been difficult. I heard her say again, "Look what I done" to Macy. I couldn't stand it anymore and tried to get her to say "Look what I did." I argued with her and argued with her, and she still is saying it.

I know it was a pointless argument, and I have no idea why I tried.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Scary afternoon

Macy gets off the bus at 3:50. One of us heads down to the bus stop about 3:47, usually. Today at 3:40, my friend Carol calls, who lives two streets over, and about 5 bus stops later. Her daughter Emily got off the bus and said, "Macy's still on the bus. There wasn't anyone there to get her!" I immediately hang up with Carol and call the school. Bobby heads outside. The secretary says the bus barn will usually call at the end of the route if a child is still on the bus, and she puts me on hold to call the bus barn. In the meantime, Bobby comes in with Macy. The bus driver had circled back around and was waiting outside our house!

All I could think about was those clips on the news where a child is left on the bus all night, or the media blames the parents because no one picks up the child! Thank goodness our bus driver (Brenda) is nice enough to go out of her way to bring Macy back. Thank goodness Emily told her mom. And yes, the bus was over 10 minutes early.

Lunar eclipse and unexpected snow day

Last night was deadline night for newspaper. The kids worked hard, played hard, and were all generally in a silly mood most of the night. Around 9 or so, I received an email from a student who had already gone home. He told me to go check out the lunar eclipse--"it won't happen again until you're old and I'm middle-aged." Thanks, Jake. Appreciate that thought. So about 5 or 6 of us went out, some without shoes, some without coats, some in tank tops, to watch the eclipse. I'm glad we did; it was neat. We joked that when they are middle-aged and I'm old and this happens again, we can remember this moment. They are good kids.

I was ready to walk out the door this morning when my friend called with the news we didn't have school due to icy roads. I thought, "Oh no! The paper isn't done!" My second thought was, "Oh no! We are out of snow days and will have to make this up!" But I went back to bed for a couple hours, took Macy to school (Kearney didn't cancel; very, very odd) and called our publisher. She said we could finish up Friday morning and send it in. Now if we have snow day tomorrow, we're in trouble....

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

You know your a parent when... are taking a shower, and you realize the white bar of soap has been used to throughly clean a black dog.

Study hall...

I have study hall 4th hour this semester, in the cafeteria. I sit by the main study hall guy, who has a walkie-talkie. Here's what I have heard in the 40 minutes I've been sitting here:

1. "We have student who passed out in room 101. The nurse is already there. Can a principal assist?"
2. "Mrs. Mabery, please let me know when said skippers re-enter the building, and direct them to me. I want the video survillence of them also."
3. "Dolly, can you go by the weight room at your earliest convienence? Someone has accidently sprayed the fire extingusher."
4. "This is Mr. Saluri. I have ...... and ...... here in the Hy-Vee parking lot. They say they have signed out, but they also are in possession of tobacco. I'm escorting them back to the building."
5. "Mike the delivery driver for Pepsi, just ran over the curb and might be stuck back by the basement door."
6. "I need a hall monitor to get ....... from choir; it's too noisy for them to hear our call into the room."

Nothing like an exciting day in study hall. I had no idea so much gossip went over the walkie-talkie wire.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Friday morning we had an all-district meeting at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church. The keynote speaker is usually fairly boring, and something we endure. Not this time. The speaker was Dr. Rick Rigsby, from Texas. The man was a phemonal speaker, and was given a standing ovation when finished; first time I remember that happening. He mixed humor with his powerful message. And when he finished his final story, I can guarantee there was a not a woman in the audience who didn't have tears in her eyes.

He based his speech on his book, Lessons from a Third Grade Dropout. All were lessons his father, a maritime cook, taught his son. He made each lesson relate to the classroom situation, but these lessons are universal, and really apply to any situation. I thought I'd share them here. If only everyone in the world followed these guidelines...

Don't judge based on what you see.
Don't be so quick to judge others
Better be an hour early than a minute late
Kind deeds are never lost.
People follow kindness.
Always look for people you can help
If you're going to do a job, do it right

He spoke a lot about the lessons we can learn from the generations before us, the ones who worked hard for everything, and were grateful for even small things. He urged us to become teachers who really make an impact on students, not just a passing impression.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

V-Day parties

High school students + Courtwarming + Valentine's Day = Chaos

Kindergarten students + Sugar + Valentine's Day = Chaos

Apparently it doesn't matter how old you are!

PS--I was on trash duty at the party, and I threw away more cupcakes with pink frosting (from a mom who figured it out) than I could count, along with whole cookies with red frosting. I did not throw away any chocolate chip cookies. :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

As Jesse said, when life gives you lemons...

A couple weeks ago, I was asked to bring a dessert to Macy’s Valentine party. I didn’t want to be the working mom who claims she is too busy and always buys something store bought. Macy and I decided to make cupcakes with pink frosting. I found heart-shaped cupcake holders, bought pink frosting with sprinkles, and we were set.

Now, not trying to complain, but I have been extremely busy lately. We had another jam packed weekend, Bobby was out of town, I had two assignments due in master’s classes, that technology presentation on Monday morning, newspaper contests that had to be postmarked Tuesday, along with trying to teach, grade papers, turn in grades for report cards, and a husband sick with the flu. I say all that to say—I wanted to work on these cupcakes with Macy.

So I juggled some things around, had the girls do their valentines on Monday, their homework last night, and we spent tonight after dance class making the cupcakes.. We really had a great time, and they looked good. Macy trotted happily off to bed, dreams of cupcakes with pink frosting dancing in her head. She was so excited to show them off tomorrow.

You know this story has a bad ending. I went to take the cupcakes out of the pretty heart-shaped cupcake holders to smooth down the frosting, and ½ the cupcake stuck in the holder. Looked horrible. I tried another one. Same thing. They looked worse than horrible. No way can I take these things to school tomorrow.

So, the night before Valentine’s Day, I trek out to Country mart to find something. I’ve learned that’s about like trying to find a toy the night on Christmas Eve. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Now here it is, 9:30 Wednesday night, and I’m cooking break-apart chocolate chip cookies. The other mothers will have elaborate homemade snacks, and my daughter will have chocolate chip cookies. At least they will be on a pretty red plate.

Ok, I’m done with my pity-party. Thanks for listening.


Macy is learning to spell in kindergarten, and it's pretty cool to watch her develop and learn.The teacher really encourages them to sound it out. Here's some of her latest spellings and the translations:

radr hors--water horse

Monday, February 11, 2008

I hate speaking in front of a group. Absolutely despise it. I followed fatherly advice and took a speech class in high school, but still hate it. i know, coming from a teacher who speaks in front of a group every day, that sounds silly. I'd rather have a room of high school students anyday than a group of my peers.

This morning I had to do a technology training for a rather large number of teachers. When I agreed, I had no idea it would be so many!! I rushed around this morning, got Macy dropped off at 6:30, dropped off Kaylin at preschool, and rushed down to the presentation. All went fine! I followed my handout, helped teachers with questions, and everyone left satisfied. So glad that was over! Tafterwards the woman in charge asked me to do another one! Yikes! So I guess I have to get over this fear.

Bobby was out of town this weekend, and the girls and I were busy. Jump rope for the heart, basketball pictures, basketball game, and girl scout activity.

A picture from Macy's Jump Rope for the Heart--thanks to all who donated! She raised enough money for a water bottle and a jump rope! She had a great time, and we really appreciate the money raised.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Snow Day mega picture blow-out

The snow day bell worked again!! Hooray! We had a wonderful day just hanging out. Bobby was off, and he is out of town this weekend for Fire School, so it was nice to be able to spend time with him.

Kaylin wanted to eat the snow as she was "helping" Daddy shovel the driveway. No yellow snow, I told her.

Macy, of course, wanted to eat the snow too. I think she got more in her mouth than her sister.

Later in the afternoon, we went sledding. I think this was the first time the girls went actual sledding, down a big hill They had a blast! Here's Macy and Bobby on the first run of the day.

They actually got along well enough to sit in the same sled!

Macy starts off strong...

Oh, no! Tipping over! Hold on, Macy!

And she didn't. Wipeout!

After that, they got the bright idea to go down on their tummies. Or as Kaylin calls it, her tum-tum.

I love this action shot of Macy. She really had a good time.

And one of the last runs of the day, all three of us in the sled.

We were sledding for over an hour and half, and the girls would have kept going if we hadn't cut them off. Their faces were bright red, Kaylin's nose was dripping like a faucet, and their gloves were sopping wet. After dinner, they fell asleep in the car about 7:30. We just carried them upstairs and they slept in their clothes. They were exhausted. Sledding is hard work!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

My little sleepwalker...

Last night, I was in bed but not asleep. I hear Kaylin whimpering, so I went to investigate. She's not in her bed, not in the bathroom, not in Macy's room, not in my room. Can't find her. But I can still hear her whimpering. I finally find her on the steps down by the garage, fists shoved in her mouth, whimpering. I pick her up and carry her back to her room. She has no idea where she is, or what is going on. I rock her for a few minutes, then put her back in her bed. She sleeps peacefully until morning.

I've found her before in strange places, like her closet, my bathroom, Macy's room. But it hasn't happened in a while, and this was her first foray into going down the stairs. And not just one set of stairs, but two.


Another funny Kaylin story. Last week Dad had told me before Kaylin and I left that if we looked out to the southwest while driving, we'd see Venus and Pluto. Venus would be larger, and they'd be the only stars in the sky. I started driving and forgot about it. About halfway to school, Kaylin says, "Mom, look, there's those things Papa was talking about." I look out my window, and sure enough, there are the bright "stars" Dad was telling us about. She's so smart.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Round 3: Kaylin's birthday party

After Round 2, Macy's basketball game, we had Kaylin's party on Saturday. It was a fairly small affair, to our standards. It was a Little Mermaid theme (had to talk her out of a Hannah Montana theme; no way is my 4-year-old having a HM birthday!!
Below are two pictures of the cupcake cake. The second one was so you could see the pounds of icing dripping off the top. It was great.

The girls played dress-up for a long time, and here's everyone in their finest.

Singing to the birthday girl. She LOVES to have happy birthday sung to her; she feels like she is the absolute queen.

It was a good time. I ran out of things for them to do, so they had some good old quality play time, which worked out great. They all had a great time, moving the tables and chairs to make a fort and a secret hiding area.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Round 2: 1-1 for Lil' Rhino's

Again, not that we are keeping score, but Macy lost her basketball game this morning. They just didn't play as well as they did last Saturday. Macy didn't make any baskets. I wrote last week about Caroline not passing the ball, and she was pretty bad again today. Apparently no one would pass to her (because she's such a ball hog) and she ran over to Bobby and said, "No one will pass the ball to me!" and Bobby said, "That's because you won't pass to them!" Maybe she'll figure it out.

We are back from Kaylin's birthday party, but I don't have the energy to download the pictures and blog about that. Maybe later tonight or tomorrow.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Round 1: Hannah Montana!

Tonight a good friend and I took our girls to see the Hannah Montana concert that was made into a 3D movie. We'd purchased our tickets way back on January 4th, and good thing--all the shows this weekend were sold out, and it's only running for a week. We got in line at 6:15; there were probably 30 people in front of us, and the line quickly grew behind us. We did our best to entertain the girls for 45 minutes while waiting.

At 7:00, the line began moving, and FAST! We scooped up all the stuff we had on the floor and moved quickly. Two groups that had been behind us appararenly thought we were too slow, and cut in front of us. Patience, patience. The line moved so fast Jennifer and I were dragging Kaylin and Madelyn by the hand; Jessica and Macy were on their own. I quickly figured out that being trampled by tween Hannah Montana fanatics and their mothers was not a good thing! At one point I was deeply afraid Kaylin would trip and be trampled as we moved up the steps of the theatre. We quickly found 6 seats together, and settled in to wait for the movie to start at 7:30.

Hannah Montana aka Miley Cyrus had just finished a tour that sold out nationwide in seconds. Someone had the brilliant idea to take that concert and turn it into a movie, charge $15 a person, which allows even more people to see Hannah Montana. She sang most of the songs she did live, along with some backstage footage. It was pretty cool. It was just like a concert as the audience sang, danced, waved their hands, etc. Macy and Jessica stood up and danced through part of it.

The movie was 3D, and the best part of all was when Macy and Jessica figured out what those glasses were for. They jumped a foot as things "jumped" off the screen and "hit" them. They were hilarous to watch all night. Every time Hannah Montana would "jump" off the screen, they'd try to hug her.They were constantly telling us things like, "those drumsticks hit my tummy!" Kaylin was equally hilarous for another reason--she was paralyzed in her seat, mesmerized by what she saw. She sat criss-cross applesauce and didn't move a muscle, staring at the screen.

As we left the theatre at 9:00, the line for the 9:45 wrapped almost across the lobby. Kaylin had her 3D glasses on upside down, and everyone was smiling and pointing at her. The girls sang to the Hannah Montana CD the whole way home, and even how I have those songs stuck in my head.

I'm so glad the girls got to experience something like that--the waiting in line with all those people, the whole experience. They won't forget this for a long time. Makes it all worthwhile.