Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween, Part Dos

I can only breath a sigh of relief that Halloween is over. What a day we've had. I feel old right now, trying to keep up with my kids today.

Round One: After a morning of boring meetings, I skipped out early to head to Macy's Halloween party at school. Craziness ensued. 22 first-graders hyped up on sugar and plain adrenaline over the excitement. Time: 2:00-3:10.

Round Two: With my niece the Kitty Cat and my sister, we headed up to the downtown area for some trick-or-treating at local businesses. It's a Let's See How Many People I Can Run Into Event. Bobby was working (for the fourth Halloween in a row) so we visited him by the ambulance too. Time: 4:00-5:00.

Round Three: After a quick pizza for dinner (I'm not counting how many times I've had pizza for lunch/dinner this week) we headed up to the local high school for another Safe Halloween event. No candy (thank goodness) but tons of little prizes and trinkets: for my kids, that is better than candy. Had they been any good at the games, they would have won more trinkets, but alas, they have their mother's coordination. Time: 6:00-7:00.

Round Four: After dropping off the car, we set off on our foot around our neighborhood. NOT ONCE did I have to remind the girls to say thank you, and Macy commented that only person said "you're welcome."They even took turns ringing the doorbell without hitting each other. What more can I ask for? Time: 7:15-8:00.

[Side Note: In case you live under a rock, a porch light on AND lights on in your house means you are open for business on Halloween. If you don't want trick-or-treaters, turn off your lights!]

Round Five: We set up shop in the driveway, and later inside, to hand out candy. Macy is a very generous candy-giver; she was giving full handfuls to people. Hey, it was her candy--I DID NOT buy any candy; they just handed out candy they'd gotten over the last few days, and we STILL have tons left. Macy told every single one "you're welcome." Time: 8:00-9:00

Funniest event of the night: Kaylin went to open the door to give out candy, and it was some older kids in a scary costume. She took one look at them, turned around and ran into the kitchen. She slipped on the hardwood floor and slid across it, sending candy all over the floor. She hopped up and said, "I'm ok!"

And when has this ever happened: Macy fell asleep on the couch at 9:15. As she likes to say, "I do not know."

Once again, I feel like an old grandma tonight who can't hack it with their kids. My right leg has been bothering me the last few days, so I'm downing some ibuprofen and going to bed. Next year, Bobby is on duty and I'm handing out candy.

Halloween Part One...

Last night the high school had a Safe Halloween event, and we took the girls. They had a good time...lots and lots of candy, and fun games. Here they are with their favorite babysitters, Emily and Ally.

Then we (well, Bobby and the girls; I'm not allowed to touch things with a knife) carved's Kaylin with hers, a ghost.

Macy with her bat...

Here's a close-up of the ghost; with the candle in it, looks pretty good.

Close-up of the bat... it doesn't look quite as good as a ghost, but it appeared to be more intricate.

And these were all taken with my birthday present, a new digital camera! My old one died awhile ago. I can borrow one from newspaper when I need one, but I feel kinda bad using it all the time. Sometimes they are all checked out, and I can't borrow one. I will still use the big expensive one when need be (like special occasions) but I like having my own small one.

Thank you Bobby! And thank you Macy for telling me early!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Weird, weird day.

Things I never thought I'd say in a classroom:

"Take your tractor and get out of here!"

Today I:
--kicked a kid out of study hall for repeatedly saying "I have gonorrhea" at full volume and for making loud farting noises. Oh, to be 17 again...
--dropped my laptop on the hard, tile floor. For those keeping record, that's the second time.
--had a student tell me my hair was messed up. Great, thanks!
--wrote the wrong date on every student pass I wrote.
--had a very awkward voice chat for my master's class with 4 people from across the United States
--had a student bring a ride-able tractor to class.

It was a strange day...

Monday, October 27, 2008

You've got to be kidding me...

I love birthdays. I love the surprise, I love being treated special for one day of the year. I love birthday cake, I love birthday cards, I love it all. But mainly, not knowing what I'm getting. Imagine, then, the conversation that took place at our house this afternoon.

Macy: Daddy bought your birthday present today.
Me: I'll give you $5 if you tell me what he bought.
Macy: Ok. (Comes over and whispers in my ear.)
Bobby: MACY JEWEL!!!

Yep. She told me. Now my surprise is ruined, AND I owe my daughter $5. I seriously didn't think she would tell me! Guess that's what I get...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Not Me Monday!

I did not drink milk straight from the jug in plain sight of my girls.

In desperation and running late Saturday morning, I did not put on a pair of socks that my 7-year-old niece had given to Macy because they were too small for her. And they did not fit.

I did not lock the bathroom door when taking a shower Saturday night. Because if the bad guys could get through the deadbolt and regular lock on the doors, and get by the dogs, a puny little lock on the bathroom door would stop them, right?

I did not chuckle to myself when the older man in front of us at church Sunday cleaned his ears out with a pen cap. Why would I laugh? That's gross...

Kaylin did not eat jelly with a knife while we watched.

Happy Monday!

BTW, fierce wind + steaming cups of hot chocolate + white Halloween costumes= bad, bad things.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sleepy girl

When I went to get Kaylin up this morning, she rolled over and said, "I'm not done sleeping." Me too, baby girl, me too.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

We heart Bus Driver Brenda

Some of you may remember our Scary Afternoon last February when Macy's bus was early and there was no one there to get her. Well, it happened again tonight.

I was waiting patiently at the bus stop, with an umbrella in the rain, when I see the bus coming from a different direction. Hmmmm, that's odd. Maybe there is a sub bus driver. As it pulls up next to me, I see no other kids on the bus. Hmmmm, that's even more odd. As Macy gets off, Brenda the bus driver says, "I was a few minutes early, and you weren't here, so I just finished the route and was bringing her back by your house." For the record, only kindergartners have to have someone waiting at the bus stop. First grade and older don't have to have someone waiting.

Brenda, you are the best. Even if you were early, thanks for looking out for my 6-almost-7-year-old.

Even better, Macy didn't pout b/c I wasn't there to get her the first time.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Not Me Monday!

I did not have a student paint my fingernails in class this week, because I couldn't stand the thought of going to parent teacher conferences with unpainted fingernails, and because she volunteered to. And I did not feel like a major rock star, carrying on a meeting with two other students while she painted my long fingernails.

I did not try to see how long I could sit perfectly still during my plan hour (our lights have sensors that turn the lights off if there hasn't been movement in the room in ten minutes) so the lights wouldn't come back on and I could sit in the dark. And I don't do this on a regular basis.

When my house was empty Monday night except me and the dogs, I did not revert to my childhood and sleep with a stuffed animal since I was lonely. And I did not sleep with a stuffed animal way into my high school years either.

I did not have a mini-tirade at a newspaper student this week, and use the word pissed in the "discussion". I don't say such things to my students. (However, the tirade worked and he got his butt in gear promptly.)

I did not take that picture of the Secret Service in secret, fearing they would take my camera for taking their picture. Like that was what they were worried about...And I did not giggle for getting away with taking the picture. (See post below.)

We did not bribe our children with money to swim certain lengths in the pool. However, it was worth it as they both swam unaided about 20-30 feet. A huge step. Amount we have to fork over: $5 each.

And I did not add to this all week.

MckMama, who is getting so close to delivering her baby, is hosting this at My Charming Kids

Have a great Monday! Don't forget to look at my St. Louis pictures below if you haven't.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

St. Louis photo blowout

Sooooooo...rather than watch the blowout Tigers football game, I will take advantage of the free wireless from the Holiday Inn Express in Salem to stage my own blowout with pictures of our trip. There's a lot...something kinda cool happened, so hang on.

We started at the zoo on Friday afternoon. I will again not bore you with pictures of the animals, except this one of a headless penguin. No, he's not really headless, but from this angle he looks it and the girls found it hilarious. The penguins are one of the main reasons we like this zoo.

The other main reason we love this zoo--polar bears and grizzlies. This polar bear was active, and it was neat to see.

Macy loooovvves snakes--weird, I know. This enormous python was moving around, and then literally starting moving towards and watching Macy. She got down right in front of him, and he crawled right up next to her, little tongue slithering around. It was pretty cool. We hoped the glass didn't disappear ala Harry Potter. FYI--Macy told me earlier this week she wanted to be a vet.

Then Kaylin found this little snake, no idea what kind it was, but she started playing with it and it was following her around with her hand. Cute!

We checked into our hotel, and discovered the worldwide annual Build-a-Bear manager's conference was being held in our hotel. You know how much my girls love Build-a-Bear. I was worried the incessant asking "When can we go to Build-a-Bear?" would start, but it never did.

We headed out to the Hard Rock Cafe, a first for the girls. Those of you who know me know I am obsessed with seeing how many Hard Rock's I can eat in. This brought me to 15. The food is okay, overpriced, and an obvious tourist trap, but I love it anyway. I'm done buying overpriced merchandise from each one, thankfully. We ended up eating in the bar, which sounds a lot worse than it really was. They were closing for a private party, but there was room at a bar that overlooked the restaurant and other people like us were eating there. Macy counted 10 guitars and 102 pictures on the walls.

After a swim and a restless night rest (Kaylin was a little sick) this was the view from our hotel in the morning. We can see people already arriving at the Arch, so we begin prepping the girls that we might not be going up.

As we're leaving the hotel, Bobby's sister calls and says that Barack Obama is in St. Louis. At the Arch. Yikes. We keep walking and end up in what they estimated to be 100,000 people--largest rally ever on record for a political candidate.

We aren't interested in trying to get into the rally (you can imagine the line!) and after several conversations, we find out the Arch itself is still open, and we head the way we were instructed. It was a long walk, but worth it. Bobby had a nice conversation with a Secret Service Agent.

If you've ever tried to take pictures at the Arch, it's a tad difficult due to the height. The sun was in the wrong place too, making it hard also. To get the following two shots, I was laying on the ground. In front of 100,000 people. I like the artistic nature of them--the girls are back lit, and you can see their shadows on the wall. Other pictures I got of them just look like they are standing in front of a silver wall.

I liked this one of Kaylin--the reflection in the water is cool.

We go through all the security checkpoints, and find out we can get right on a tram to the top. So much for the notorious long lines! I think we can thank Obama for that. Into our little egg we go.

I'm a little claustrophobic--I wasn't sure how I'd do. But it was very manageable. They are small; Bobby said it was a tight fit. It was a smooth ride to the top, and took about 5 minutes. The girls held on to one of us with a death grip.

Views from the top...the new Busch stadium.

Kaylin checking out the Mississippi River.

We had a pretty neat view of the rally. The organizers arranged it so the people were in the shape of a dove. If you look, you can see the outline and shape. There weren't 100,000 people here yet, but I would guess 20-30,000 at this point in the dove area and walking across the lawn, but you know my math skills.

The ride down was faster. I snapped this picture of the Secret Service right behind where Obama would speak in an hour. After I took a few more steps, I could see even more Men in Black--probably 30 or so. Jay Nixon was speaking,and the girls were impressed with the echo of the sound system.

Final shot of the rally from the ground.

We then maneuvered through closed streets and people to our car and headed to Bobby's dad's and grandmother's for scooter rides and more swimming.

Regardless of your political views, today was pretty neat. To see the enthusiasm and energy for a presidential candidate--again, regardless of your affiliation--is an uplifting thing for a country where we have low voter turnout. I really wished we could have heard him speak, but it was going to be a while and we needed to get on the road. To be a part of a historic rally was special.

Friday, October 17, 2008

On the road again...

Survived two nights of Parent/Teacher conferences without incident. I have 63 students total this year, and I had 34 parents. I'm not going to attempt to any math calculations on those percentages.

Since there is no school today, we're off to St. Louis to visit the zoo and Arch. Zoo is free, Arch is not. We're staying at a swanky hotel in downtown that my husband got a great deal on--he's getting good at that! Then it's off to visit Bobby's dad and grandmother.

I'm sure I'll have major pictures to share, along with a great Not Me Monday that I HAVE NOT been writing this week.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Future hairdressers...

My senior level writing class reads an essay written about a father. One of the stories she tells is when she is around 6 or 7, and combs her father's hair while he is reading. She puts in pink barrette's and tiny ponytails all over his hair. He leaves to pick up her older sister from work, forgetting he has all that in his hair, and mortifies the older sister. I always smile and chuckle when we read that story.

Now I have my own version.

Bobby loves to have his hair combed. He could sit for hours while they comb and style his hair. Frequently, they get tired of it before he does. Last night, they worked hard combing his hair, getting it just right. They thought he was the best looking daddy around. (I agree.)

An hour or two later, after the girls are in bed but not asleep, he says he is running to the store to get something. I look up, see the hair. I bite back a smile, wondering if he remembers. He grabs his keys, right in front of the mirror, then he's gone.

When he came back in the door, I could tell he now remembered.

At least barrettes weren't involved.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Not me Monday and other random thoughts...

I did not accidently forget to fill up the ice cube tray numerous times this week. My husband loves it when I accidently forget to fill up the ice cube tray.

I did not utter the words, "You're messing up my mess!" to the girls on Saturday.

I did not, once again, not bathe my children but once this week. So Sunday morning, before church, I did not use a washcloth to wipe off the dust and dirt off their legs and feet.

Check out MckMama's blogfor her list, and to read many, many others!

We went to the pumpkin patch yesterday, and had a great time riding a kiddie train, doing a hayride, and picking pumpkins.

My husband's legal name is Bobby. Not Bob, or Robert. He has only been Bobby to me. But I find it hilarous that as we get older, people shorten his name. "Hi, I'm Bobby," he'll say. "Hi, Bob, nice to meet you!" Why do people find the urge to do that? Is Bobby not an adult name, and they feel that Bob is more representative of a 30-something man? I fight back a smile every time this happens...

Long week this week--parent teacher conferencs. Urghhh...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Conversations with the young

Tonight in the car, I had the following conversation with Kaylin:
Kaylin: Mom?
Me: Yes?
Kaylin: I just forgot what I was going to say.
Me: Hmmmm.
Kaylin: Will you think really hard, really hard, and let me know
what I was going to say?
Me: (pause) Um, Kaylin, I'm not sure I can do that.
Kaylin: Please? Think really hard and let me know what I was going to say.

Lesson learned: there is nothing your child won't ask you to do.

Then I was helping Macy put names on her school pictures, and we were down to three left. Earlier I had teased her about having a boyfriend, and she did her usual angry tantrum she does whenever she is teased about a boyfriend. Then she says, "I'll give a picture to Dylan. He's Paige's boyfriend, and that makes him my friend too." As I started to ask again about her boyfriend, she proceeded to get angry again.

Lesson learned: it's okay to talk about other's boyfriends, but not Macy's.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Ever shut down the email server?

I have a confession to make. I don't delete emails. Oh, I delete them from my inbox, but then neglect to remove them permanently from my deleted email folder. I know I have a problem with this, but I get over a 100 emails a day some days! Some I want to keep, and I don't want to sort them through to save the ones I want.

A few minutes ago, I received an urgent call from our district help desk. Apparently, I am taking up the most space on the email server--4 GB of space. Wow! According to one of my students, that is how much space he has on his iPod. Apparently, our email server is running out of space quickly, and if that happens, it is my fault, and it will shut down the email server for the entire district. He told me I have to clean up my email today. As in, don't go home until I clean it up.

For the record, here are the numbers:
27, 346 emails in Deleted Items Folder
10, 950 emails in Sent Email Folder
75 emails in Drafts Folder
150 emails in Inbox

The dates go back to 2005. I have known I needed to clean it up, but just didn't want to take the time. There are some that I want to keep, so I'll have to sort through all 27, 346 to find the ones I want to save.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Better late than never...

Stayed home today with a little flu bug, and our Internet was down. Feeling better, and Internet connection has been restored. So without further ado... Not me Monday!

When the girls went to play across the street at the neighbor's house, I did not tell them I'd come over in a few minutes to check on them. And it was not over an hour when I finally did. I did not enjoy that peaceful hour at all.

When my wonderful husband sent me a dozen roses this week, I did not tell my high school students that the flowers were from my baby's daddy, just for fun. Hey, it is true!) And I did not laugh at the shocked looks on their faces.

I did not pretend to ignore the girls when they were supposed to be in their rooms going to sleep, and instead were playing "store" in the hallway at 10:00 pm. I did not pretend to ignore them just so I could watch the Missouri/Nebraska football game. Go Tigers!

Today, when I was home sick and the Internet was not working, it did not bother me at all. Nope. Who cares if I can't check my email, check blogs, or search for other random things? Not me!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Why did I wait?

Kaylin's hair is always a mess. We comb it, and 5 minutes later it looks like she stuck her fingers in a light socket. Her curls are beautiful, but it always looks straggly. Those curls are why I never wanted to cut her hair... until today. We went from this mess...

to this super cute bob! She loves it, and so do I! I can only imagine how much easier it will be to take care of.

Side/back is sort of stacked in the back, and isn't curly at all. :( I will miss those ringlets. But not that much.

We went to the zoo for a couple hours today. It was gorgeous. We ventured down to Africa, a part of the zoo we rarely go, because of how much walking is involved. The loop around Africa is a mile, along with the long walk to Africa.

We ran into a good friend who lives in a pineapple under the sea. Absorbent and yellow and porous is he...

My two pretty girls on a rock.

Macy loves meerkats. "Take my picture with the meerkats, Mom! You've taken a hundred of Kaylin's hair!"

Here's our shout-out to Grandma. Here's her girls with her favorite animal. They're ready for you to come home!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Family tree

Tonight Macy's homework was to fill in her family tree. When we got to Bobby's mom, I explained how Grandma Maggie was up in heaven with Jesus, and that she died when Macy was a little girl. She didn't say much, just wrote Maggie then moved on. We have been waiting and waiting for her to ask questions, but she never does.

Then, just now, as I was putting her homework in her folder, I looked at the family tree. She drew a picture of everyone on their respective branches. Expect Grandma Maggie. I find that fascinating and sad at the same time. While the stick people don't look anything like us, she doesn't know Grandma Maggie, so she left that branch empty and didn't attempt to draw a picture. That's fascinating how intutive she is. I wish she wasn't already asleep so I could ask her about it. But it's sad also, because she never go the chance to know Grandma Maggie like she does the rest of her grandparents.