Saturday, December 22, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
I've never been so happy to hear the 2:45 bell in my life!! The mere fact that I don't have to drive to the Hell-Hole and/or see the Big Cheese for two whole weeks, makes me as happy as a pig in shit!
The kids were horrible little brats all day today, so I wasn't too upset about saying good-bye for a couple of weeks. I'm sure by Monday, I'll be missing them.
I received a few more gifts today. Believe it or not, all but three kids brought grab bag gifts. Actually, the three that gave me money Wednesday all brought gifts today! But then three different kids brought dollars, so I gave the first three their dollars back, so it all worked out. One of my moms told me she was going to run out and get her daughter's gift, and that she would pick up gifts for any kids that didn't have one. I'm glad she only had to buy three extra gifts. I tried to give her the money, but she wouldn't take it. The kids were excited about the popcorn. I guess it was a hit, like I hoped it would be.
Well, that's all I have the strength to say tonight. I came home and had a chocolate martini, and now I'm ready to get into a hot tub. (One of my friends brought me some bath salts, so I may as well try them out!) I think I may have to run out and do a little shopping though, so I'd better go figure that out. I'm trying to avoid going out tomorrow!
I don't know if I'll be checking in over my break, so I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, a Joyous Holiday Season, and a Happy, Healthy, Prosperous New Year. I hope things are Great in '08!
If we are to reach real peace in this world and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with children; and if they will grow up in their natural innocence, we won't have to struggle; we won't have to pass fruitless idle resolutions, but we shall go from love to love and peace to peace, until at last all the corners of the world are covered with that peace and love for which consciously or unconsciously the whole world is hungering. ---Gandhi
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Well, the Christmas assembly was exactly the cluster fuck I knew it would be. As soon as my class finished, we went right off the stage, and out the door! There was NO WAY I could sit there amidst the utter chaos that is the Hell-Hole. My babies were awesome, by the way. I'll download the video tomorrow, when I'm not so exhausted. I'm really proud of them.
These next 6 hours of school can NOT go by fast enough. I so don't want to even go tomorrow! My mother guilted me into buying something else for the babies for Christmas. I had my niece put the pencils and candy canes in their stockings today, and I was going to leave it at that. But, this afternoon, I was talking to my mom on the phone, and she asked if we were having a party tomorrow, to which I replied, "Hell no!" Then she asked what I got them for Christmas, and I told her nothing. I told her about the pencils and candy canes, and she got upset with me. "Is that the memory you want them to have of kindergarten?!" So, I ended up grabbing something else to put in their stockings. The fact that I wanted to put it in the stockings limited what I could get, but then I found the perfect solution. I bought a case of individual snack-sized bags of microwave popcorn at Sam's Club. Perfect! They'll slide right into the stockings, and I'll feel better knowing they all LOVE popcorn.
Only one more child brought in a grab-bag gift today. That only makes 6 children that will participate, I guess. I was going to pick up a few extra gifts for those who didn't bring one, but I'm certainly not going to buy 21 gifts! We'll see how it goes tomorrow.
I did get a few gifts today, which was really nice. One of my babies from last year came up to me this morning before school and flung a gift at me, along with her 10,000 watt smile. It was the most adorable coffee mug with my initial on it. Very cute! I'm so glad it was something different. You have no idea how many "teacher" mugs I have. This is so unique, I just love it!
Another of my babies brought me a gift today, but told me I couldn't open it until Christmas. But, once I got home, I couldn't resist. It's a really cute little gift set of shower gel, lotion, bath salts and a puff. Cute!
Mrs. M. across the hall also brought me a gift today. She put together a sweet little basket of goodies for me. I don't think I've ever mentioned this before, but I have this really sick, twisted obsession with penguins. (I'll elaborate another time!) So there were several penguin items in the basket, along with some great potpourri, scented candle and bubble bath stuff. I'm all set for a relaxing night in the tub.
I've mentioned Mrs. G., one of my parents, more than once on my blog, and she's done it again! She not only brought me a beautiful fruit basket, that she put together herself, but she made individual goody bags for every child in the class. She always makes very old-fashioned goody bags for the kids, with an orange and/or apple, and some candy. I think it's wonderful! The kids were all so excited about the orange she put in their bags, it was too funny! I'm bringing some gifts for the G. family tomorrow that I hope they'll enjoy.
I haven't mentioned this yet this week, but all week, I've had a Secret Santa leaving me gifts. Actually, the gifts have been delivered by someone different every day. Every gift has been some sort of penguin, so I've been elated all week! Monday, I received a door cover/decoration with penguins on it. Tuesday, I received a penguin ornament. Wednesday, it was an absolutely adorable penguin wall hanging/decoration. Today, it was a penguin figurine, complete with a glittery little scarf. Very cute! I'm curious to see what tomorrow brings. All week, I assumed my Secret Santa was Dori, but I found out today, it's not. I'm confused. I think it may be my assistant from last year. Although, I asked her yesterday, and she said no, but I still think it's her. Just to be safe, I made sure to pick up something for her tonight.
Oo, one more gift from today. The other day, I spoke to the man from the after school program I'm working for to find out where the hell our pay was from November. He told me it would be sent out on Friday, and then told me he would be sending everyone a little Christmas bonus. He swore me to secrecy, because he wanted everyone to be surprised. I thought it was the least they could do, since we waited almost a month to get paid, but I was appreciative, nonetheless. They gave the teachers $100 each, our parent assistant $50, Mrs. J., our clerk, $100, and they sent me $200! Yay for me! It was a nice little show of appreciation, don't you think? None of the other after school programs I've ever worked for did anything like that. They called yesterday to say they were overnighting the checks, and they arrived this morning. Very nice!
Please send good thoughts and prayers my way for tomorrow to go by quickly! Come on, Christmas vacation!!! Two glorious weeks away from the Hell-Hole! I CAN NOT WAIT!!!
Like fruit, children are sweetest just before they turn bad. ---Dena Groquet
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
In the newsletter Monday, I asked the parents to please send a $1.00 grab-bag gift for Friday. I asked that they be gender-specific, so the girls can exchange with the girls, boys with boys. OK, not too difficult, right? WRONG! Tuesday morning I asked if anyone had brought a grab-bag gift, nobody did. Today, I had THREE people give me a dollar!!! Two were kids, so I couldn't really do much about it. The other, though, was the uncle of my newest girl. I explained to him that he was supposed to just buy a gift for a dollar and send it by Friday, but he kept insisting I just take the dollar. I facetiously asked if he just wanted me to stick it in an envelope for the grab-bag, and he said YES!! AUGH!! I put the three dollars in my purse and planned to stop at the Dollar Store after school.
Flash forward (past the stressful, aggravating day!) to 2:45, dismissal time. One of my moms walks up to me and holds out a toy. I just look at her. She keeps looking at me like, "Take it, Fool!" So I say, "Is that for the grab-bag?" to which she naturally replies, "Yes." So I say, "Well, gee, did you want me to wrap it?!" And she says, "I would greatly appreciate it." OK, count to ten.... Luckily, she's one of my moms that I can be straight forward with, and I told her she's just damn lucky that I like her! I grabbed a sheet of paper out of my printer, wrapped the toy, then got my markers and drew a Christmas tree topped with a star on the the paper. Good enough, huh? I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.
Tomorrow is the assembly. I can't wait to see how many of my parents are going to show up late and miss us perform. The show is supposed to start at 1:00, and I plan to have my kids on that stage at 12:55, ready to sing. I'm still debating whether I'm going to let the kids stay and watch the rest of the classes perform, or if we're just going to go back to the room. I could let them watch a Christmas movie. I'm just going to play it by ear, I guess.
Could this be why my class has been acting so crazed lately? Because their teacher is not peaceful? OK, I'll accept a small fraction of responsibility, but I think it probably has more to do with the lack of peace within their homes. Before I start feeling depressed about it all, I'll just say good night. Good night.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
And, here are a few shots of the stockings they've been working on this week. After they left today, I wrote their names on their stockings with some green glitter glue as a little surprise for them for tomorrow.
Now I just need to remember to pick up some candy canes to stuff into these little babies before Friday. I think I'll stuff them Thursday night and leave them at each child's seat to find in the morning.
I've had the Biggest Loser Finale on for background noise, and it's starting to suck me in. I've never seen a single episode of this show, but I just may have to watch next season. Hell, I need to be ON it next season! I'm going to see who wins the $100,000. Good night!
Probably no greater honor can come to any man than the respect of his colleagues. ---Cary Grant
I came across this while looking for tonight's quote, and it instantly made me think of the Big Cheese. And what an ASSHOLE he is, of course!!
Monday, December 17, 2007
The rest of this week, I pray to God, will be a breeze. Today, we didn't do much other than Christmas 'stuff.' Believe it or not, our LLT actually showed up this morning to work with some kids (will wonders never cease?!) and the babies were doing some writing, which is a big no-no during our "reading block." Ask me if I care. I was sitting at my desk cutting out 54 stockings out of red construction paper, as well as 27 lengths of yarn with which the babies were going to sew together two stockings each. As soon as she walked in, I just said, "I'll send you a group." Then I sent her my four lowest babies to work with, seeing how that's her job and all. I tried to just ignore her and her group, but it was hard because I kept hearing things like, "What sound E makes?" Good God, help us!! How the hell is this person supposed to help these children when she can't even speak proper English?!?!
As she was leaving, she actually asked me if I was going to do small groups today. I just looked at her like she had three heads. "Oh, I know, you're trying to get ready for the Christmas Assembly. But, you know, if someone were to come in here, we'd be in trouble for not having small group instruction going on." Again, ask me if I care! Trust me, no one from the board is visiting anywhere the week before Christmas break. And if they did, oh well! Man, I have a shitty attitude. That's what the Hell-Hole has done to me....
After lunch, as we were now trying to make the stockings, the Reading Interventionist stuck her head in to tell me she wouldn't be coming at her scheduled time (surprise, surprise!!) because she had a meeting. She is supposed to be pulling kids from my class every single day, for at least a half hour. She's done it exactly ONCE since school has started! OK, I don't want to start ranting about this, because I could go on and on, and what fun would that be for you?
The stockings have been a challenge indeed! The babies are supposed to be using a simple whip-stitch to sew the two stockings together, but it's proving difficult for many of them. I then had them glue cotton balls across the top for the cuff. The ones that are finished are really cute. I want to put a treat of some sort in them on Friday for them to take home. I haven't decided what yet, though. I already bought them Christmas pencils and erasers, so maybe I'll put those and a candy cane.
We never got a chance to even practice our song today for the assembly. Most of them know it pretty well, but they could still use some practice. I'm going to bring my camera tomorrow and try and capture a bit of them singing for you.
Well, it's time to feed my baby (ha!) so I'll leave you with this:
I once bought my kids a set of batteries for Christmas with a note on it saying, toys not included. ---Bernard Manning
Friday, December 14, 2007
As for the reception I mention the other day, what a bust!! Typical of Concordia University!! They had one little six-foot banquet table set up for 400 graduates! It was ridiculous! And the spirits were simply a keg of beer and some kind of punch. Absolutely NOT worth the half-hour we stood in line, that's for sure. My two friends and I left and went to Portillos! (That was a little dig to my friends who have deserted the Windy City!!) But, it was great to hang out with them, and catch up on things.
I missed our school's "Christmas party" tonight because I went to the rehearsal. I hope it went well. I'll have to get the scoop from Dori tomorrow.
My kids spent a good chunk of the day practicing our song for the assembly next week. They sound so damn cute, I'm seriously trying to figure out a way to record them so I can post it here. I think I may video them, but with the camera facing up or something, so you'll at least get the audio.
I gotta hit the sack. Big day tomorrow!
The real menace in dealing with a five-year-old is that in no time at all you begin to sound like a five-year-old. ---Joan Kerr, Please Don't Eat the Daisies, 1957
Thursday, December 13, 2007
That's all the energy I have tonight. I actually have to make some dips/appetizers and bake for a get-together we're having this weekend, so I'm keeping it short today. See you tomorrow!
You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance. ---Franklin P. Jones
Ain't dat da truth!
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Typically, when we have kids who aren't going on a field trip with us, they are told to stay home, because there won't be any kindergarten staff at school to supervise them. (We can get away with that because in Illinois, kindergarten is still not mandatory.) On the last field trip day, I had about 6 kids show up who weren't supposed to, despite sending no less than 3 letters home saying they had to stay home. Dori had even more than that.
So, of course, this time we sent several notices AGAIN. I even put it in my newsletter on Monday. I said I would be calling the homes of any students who show up that aren't supposed to. I didn't have any show. Dori, though, had 4 or 5 show up. What the hell is wrong with her parents?!?!? I don't understand why they are so disrespectful to her. When she questioned the kids about why they came, they all said something like, "I told my mom, but she said I have to come anyway." She was able to call some homes, but she was still stuck with 3 kids. Of course, now we're running late, so I took the rest of the kids to the bus, while she tried to find somewhere to leave them. How irritating for her! Thankfully, Mrs. M. took all 3 for her.
So, we rush off to the arena where the Pre-Kwanzaa festival was taking place. The bus driver dropped me off at the box office to pick up the tickets, then drove to the gate. Well, little did we know, this place was run just like the Hell-Hole!! I stood in line, in the freezing cold, without my coat, for over 35 minutes!! The damn box office was printing out the tickets as people checked in. What the hell?! Do you know how long that took? Like I said, I stood in line for over 35 minutes. By the time I had our tickets in hand, it was 10:30, which was the time the show was supposed to start. I went running all the way around the building to where the babies and Dori were waiting. We get checked in, then escorted to our seats. We get the babies all settled and excited about the show starting, only to sit for almost an hour. I couldn't believe it. Do you know how hard it is for 5 year-olds to sit still for an hour in an auditorium? Plus, all the "big kids" around them were being loud, and walking around, and their mean teachers made them sit perfectly still and quite! By the time the show started, half of the babies were almost asleep. And, to top it all off, they were starving! We normally eat lunch at 10:30, so I knew that was going to be an issue. I meant to give them a snack before we left, or at least on the bus, but with all the confusion with the extra kids and the check issue, I forgot.
We were told when we made the reservation that they show should be over around 11:45. Well, it didn't even start until 11:30!! Then, this group that put on the show has a procedure where they call one school at a time out of the auditorium as the buses pull up. So, of course, we had to wait to be called. But, after we sat for about 15 minutes, Dori and I decided we should just sneak out, since we had such a small group. (There were only 25 kids, and 3 adults.) Our babies were hungry and tired, after all! Luckily, as soon as we got downstairs, Dori saw our bus, and we were able to run right out and jump on, and go!
By the time we got back to school, it was 1:30. I don't know how the babies held on that long. I left all of them in my room with Dori to eat while I ran out to get lunch for us. They were so hungry, there wasn't a peep in the room. Too funny! After they ate, they watched a Yogi the Bear Christmas movie, and it was time to go home. Great day!!
Sometime during the show, the babies naturally had to go to the bathroom (since they had been sitting for two hours!) I took a small group of three of my girls first, and as we walked into the bathroom, they all looked around in awe, and one says, "Wow! These bathrooms be beautiful!" How sad! They all said they wished our bathrooms at school were like that. Gee, there was toilet paper, soap, paper towels, warm water....why would they want all that nonsense? Plus, there wasn't any graffiti, or just plain dirt and scum. How boring!! How sad and pitiful that a PUBLIC RESTROOM could be that impressive to 5 year-old girls. Gives you a little window into their world, doesn't it?
If our American way of life fails the child, it fails us all.
---Pearl S. Buck
These babies are definitely falling through the cracks. The whole system is failing them, starting with their parents in most cases. God help them. And, THIS is why I drag my ass to the Hell-Hole everyday....
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
We're going on a field trip tomorrow, so it should be a great day. I only have 16 kids going on the trip, and Dori has 9. We're going to a Pre-Kwanzaa Celebration. I've taken the kindergarten to see it every year since I've been at the Hell-Hole (except last year, because they didn't have a show) and the babies always love it. The 'message' is a little over their heads, but they LOVE the music and singing & dancing. The funniest thing every year is me standing up with the babies, and belting out, at the top of my lungs, "I've got to free...the African in me!" It's the song they close with every year. It cracks me up every time!! My partner teacher has always been Caucasian, as well, so it's pretty hilarious to see these two 'white girls' belting out that song.
The rest of the day should be nice and easy, too, since between the two of us, we'll only have 25 kids to deal with for the afternoon. I think I just may bring a movie tomorrow...
I'm graduating Saturday!! OK, technically, I graduated in July, but our ceremony is Saturday. We decided, as a cohort, that we were all going to walk since we all had to pay the bullshit $100 graduation fee. Everyone has to pay it, whether they walk or not. Bullshit! They won't release your records, either, if you don't pay it. Bullshit!
The rehearsal is Friday night, followed by a reception for us. The flyer says 'complimentary spirits and food.' We decided we were going to eat and drink our $100 worth ;-) Then, the ceremony is Saturday morning. I just hope it isn't too long.
Live not for your tomorrow but for the tomorrow of your children. ---Evangeline Trevino
As beautiful as this quote is, I have to be honest and say - I'm living for tomorrow!
Monday, December 10, 2007
Luckily, the basket had been picked up by Dori and returned to Mrs. M., even though all the candy was gone. Jeezaloo! People!!
At the end of the day, Mrs. G. was there, as always, to pick up her daughter. (You may remember me mentioning her in a previous post.) She said hello, and then bent down next to B., as I was helping one of the babies zip their coat. I heard her whisper, "Did you tell Mrs. L. what Daddy said?" B. gave her signature adorable smile and said "no," so Mrs. G. tells me ---
"Last week, when he came to pick up B., he came home and said, 'Oo, baby, Mrs. L. was lookin' good today! She looks like she lost some weight or something.' I said, 'And she cut her hair, too.' Then he said, 'Oh... yeah... I knew she looked different. She was looking fine.' Then he says to B., 'Tell Mrs. L. she's caliente!'"
Now, that is one secure woman. How the hell do you repeat a story like that to another woman (let alone your child's teacher!)? I would punch my husband if he came home talking about our child's teacher like that! Or any woman, actually, that he would describe as 'fine' and/or 'caliente'! Not that it wasn't a boost to my ego, mind you! That G. family! They are absolutely my favorites! Friday was the first time this year that I've seen Mr. G. (I saw him all the time when their son was in my class, but he's changed jobs now, so he works during the day now.) So maybe, he was just happy to see me! Tee hee!
I guess this doesn't exactly apply to B.G., but it's cute nonetheless...
Children seldom misquote. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn't have said. ---Author Unknown
Friday, December 7, 2007
Man, the Hell-Hole was a ghost town today!! I didn't get there until about 8:40, and my parking spot was still empty. UN told me she got there about 8:15, and there were only two other cars there. How the hell does the Big Cheese not see that staff morale could not possibly get any lower? At least 50% of the staff was missing today. Even teachers that I have NEVER seen take a day off weren't there!
After wasting about an hour in a staff meeting, we moved on to more specific meetings (primary teachers/upper grade teachers) for another hour. Those meetings, with our LLT, are ALWAYS a waste of time. At least today, though, once we got off on a tangent, the meeting took a turn for the better. We ended up having a bitch and moan session about the Hell-Hole. We laughed and blew off steam, and it was actually a pretty productive meeting when it comes to lifting our spirits a bit.
From there, I went and sat in my room, waiting for another member of the Social Committee to finish her meeting, so we could go out to lunch. We were actually going to check out the restaurant where we'll be having our Holiday Get-together next Friday. Turned out to be a really nice Chinese buffet, very appealing on the inside and excellent food. Next Friday should be nice.
In the middle of typing the previous paragraph, I suddenly realized it was 4:10, and I was supposed to have Buster at the vet at 4:00! I grabbed him and ran, and I'm just now getting home at 6:00. All went well, the stitches came out without a hitch. Unfortunately, the other ear was filled with crud, from not being cleaned all this time. I was busted, big time, by Dr. Ritter! I just tried to take a picture to show you what he looks like now, but the camera batteries are dead. When they're charged, I'll add a picture.
I'm dying to take a nice long soak in the tub. The temperature is supposed to drop to 11 degrees tonight, so I figured I'd take a nice warm bath, then slip into my warm, fuzzy jammies, make a cup of hot cocoa with Kahlua, and settle in for movie. I'm on my own tonight, since my son's father picked him up while I was at the vet. :( I may even be inspired to wrap the Christmas presents I've bought already. OK, let's not get crazy...
Speaking of presents, I came across this today, and it made me giggle:
If you want something expensive, you should ask your grandparents.
---Matthew, age 12
Matthew, you are wise beyond your years!
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Well, needless to say, the whole thing turned into a nightmare after that point. He tried to unstop the drain, but didn't have a snake long enough. But, in the meantime, more putrid ca ca water kept coming up, and now was all over the bathroom. Eventually, by the end of the day, there was water spilling out into the hallway. At least it wasn't the same thick, brown junk that was in the bathroom. This looked clear. As the afternoon went on, the puddle kept growing. By the time the after school program dismissed, there was water wall-to-wall in the hallway, and covered almost a quarter of the length. And, I can't EVEN describe the stench!! It was like standing in an open sewer.
I just hope to God it's fixed before we get there tomorrow. Luckily, the kids don't have school tomorrow. Only the teachers will have to endure that delightful aroma! Actually, I'm not sure I'll even be there tomorrow. They're predicting another 5 inches of snow tonight. If that happens, I may just take a "stay in my jammies all day and watch TV" day. My son will be home anyway, so why not make a day of it? The only thing that really needs to be done tomorrow is progress reports, but there aren't any for kindergarten. Aw, shucks! So, I don't know if I'll feel like driving in treacherous conditions just to sit around and do nothing all day. But, on the other hand, why not go sit and do nothing all day, and get paid. Quite a conundrum, isn't it? I haven't missed a day yet, so I'm not eager to waste a sick day like that. I guess I'll just have to wait and see how I feel in the morning.
I have kind of a disturbing D.J. story from today. Boy, I haven't written about him in a while, have I? He's come light years from where he was back in September. He still gives me moments when I want to "stomp on his neck," but it's so much better. Maybe I'm just used to him now. Anyway, this was my week to stay in the lunchroom with the kids. I was sitting at the boys' table chatting and making sure they were eating, etc. I was sitting directly across from D.J. There was an unusually large lunch today for the kiddies. Pizza, soup, salad, raisins and apples/pears. That's a LOT of food for 5 year olds. Well, I noticed that D.J. had two empty soup bowls on his tray, as well as two empty salad cups. Let me backtrack a second. As soon as he sat down, he immediately grabbed his box of raisins, dumped them on his tray and scarfed them before any of the other boys even sat down! I said something like, wow, you must really like raisins, huh? Anyway, a couple of the other kids had given him their food, and like I said, he had already eaten a box of raisins, a piece of pizza, two soups and two salad, and when I sat down, he was tearing into a pear with gusto. At that point, I became I bit concerned, so I sat down to chat with him. As I handed him yet another bowl of soup, I asked him if he had eaten last night. He shook his head 'no' as he slurped his third bowl of soup.
"You didn't eat dinner last night?!"
"Was your mommy home last night?"
"No, she was at work." slurp, slurp, smack
"Well, who was home with you? Your brothers?"
"No, my daddy."
"And, he didn't feed you dinner?!"
Head shake, smack, slurp "My daddy and my aunt were home."
"And they didn't feed you dinner?"
Now I'm getting worked up a bit. "Did THEY eat dinner?"
OK, now I'm about to explode!
"Why didn't they feed YOU?"
Shoulder shrug. Milk slurp.
I couldn't believe it! For a minute, I even imaged that perhaps Daddy and Auntie were getting busy behind Mommy's back, while the kids sat hungry in the other room. Not outside the realm of possibility, that's for sure. I was just livid about this situation. I told D.J. that if he ever comes to school hungry again, he should tell me so I can get him some breakfast. I'm just sick about this. Is it any wonder he has problems? How do you sit still and focus on school when you haven't eaten since your school lunch the day before? What the hell happens on weekends? Was this (hopefully!!) a one-time incident? I'm going to make a point of sitting with him everyday in the lunchroom, even if it's just a couple of minutes, to see if this is a pattern. God, I hope so. The idea of this poor baby having to go hungry makes my heart break. All right, time to change the subject. I'm getting too worked up and sad.
On to Laura and KBL's favorite subject - my "fur baby." Nothing new to say, although he IS getting his stitches out finally tomorrow, so I may have an update then. But, I did snap a cute picture of him last night. As you can see, he still does that same little cute "paws out in front of me" thing he did as a puppy. Look.
Wow, I just noticed that you can see the remodeling that was done in the kitchen over the years. (At least part of it.) Gone is the linoleum tile and country wallpaper with grapevine hearts and bows (eww). You can see the ceramic tile, new wood trim and olive green paint. At least on that wall. The adjacent wall to the left is mustard yellow, to the right is green on the bottom, yellow on the top, with an oak chair rail in between. I finally have the Tuscan kitchen I spent years dreaming about. Gee, maybe if I ever start a 'personal blog' (hahaha) I'll post pictures one day.
God, Buster was a CUTE puppy!!! That's how I got suckered into taking him. Damn him and his cuteness! I can't stop looking at the picture of him!
OK, Ugly Betty time, so I'm gonna skedaddle! If the snow storm hits, I'll post pictures/video for my Cali friends!
I found this quote that seems to fit the D.J. incident today.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
As I was walking toward the school, I slipped on a patch of ice and fell. I had my purse in one hand, and my laptop in the other, so of course I tried to save it, and fell straight down on my (old!) knees. I tried to lift my computer up as I fell so it didn't bounce on the ground, so naturally I twisted my back in a weird way. I know I'll be feeling that tomorrow. My knees have been killing me since it happened. They'll be nice and bruised tomorrow, too.
I left school at 7:30, anxious to finally get home and relax. Well, about a mile from my house, I was caught by a freight train. Never a good thing, right? They move so slow, and they're sooo long. Well, this little baby decided to stop after about 10 minutes, and just sit on the tracks. And sit it did. For 45 freakin' minutes!!! It finally started to move, only to stop again after less than 3 minutes. I sat for another 15 minutes (yes, that's an hour now!) and finally decided to bite the bullet, and try to go around it. While I was sitting there, plenty of cars were turning around, and going down side streets, but I had no idea where they led, and I figured, with the way my night was going, I'd get lost or stuck or something, so I just sat. But, when I hit that hour mark, I had to try. I backtracked about two blocks, and was able to get on a street that cuts right back toward my neighborhood. Little did I know, the train had already cleared that section of track, which means I could have saved myself the last 15 minutes of sitting, had I have turned around earlier. Of course, that just made me even angrier at the whole situation!
By then, I decided I had better stop for gas, since my car had been running all that time. I certainly didn't want to take the chance of running out of gas in the weather we've been having this week. (The gas gauge doesn't work on my car, so that's a very real possibility, and happens quite frequently.) I finally walked in the door at about 9:05 pm. Since I walked out the door this morning at 7 am, it made for a very long day.
Now, the entire time I was sitting in the car (about an hour and a half) I was on the phone with various members of my family, including my mother, trying to straighten out a 'situation' we're having with Christmas. I absolutely do not have the strength to explain right now, but all that did was exhaust me even further. Like I said, this day sucked ass!!!
To top it all off, one of my favorite Christmas specials was on tonight. I was really looking forward to watching it, cuddled up on the couch with my son, sipping hot cocoa (see yesterday). That's one of the reasons I didn't stay for the meeting at work. So much for that. Oh, who am I trying to kid? I have the movie on both VHS and DVD. But, like I've said on a previous post, it's just not the same as watching it on TV.
It's way past my bedtime now, so let me leave you with this:
Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing. ---Phyllis Diller
This quote came to mind tonight because it snowed like crazy during the day today, AND I was supposed to spend the evening cleaning (ok, straightening up) my house because some friends are coming over tomorrow. Oh well, good thing they love me, cuz I ain't cleaning now!!!
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
For days, we've been getting warned about a HUGE snow storm heading our way. They warned last night that around noon today, we were going to get hit with a storm that'll drop about 5 inches on us. While at school, I commented to Mrs. J. that here it was, 4:30, and no snow. Where's the storm they promised? She immediately said to be quiet, lest I jinx us! Well, lo and behold, as we walked out a few minutes after 5, there were the most beautiful, light, fluffy snowflakes falling! Yay! I just let Buster back in the house, and it's really coming down now! OK, I just took some video....
I can't wait to see what's coming! I love the snow!! Unfortunately, it'll never snow enough here for CPS to get a snow day :( But, that's OK. I can't get the song out of my head now..."Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!"
I really worked my butt off today after school. I certainly earned my money today. I made the timesheets for the whole month of December on my computer on spreadsheets that I saved, so from now on, all I'll have to do is change the dates, and we'll be set for the rest of the year. Yay! That will definitely take a load off the rest of the year :)
Well, I can't stop watching and focusing on the snow, so I suppose I'll just sign off for the night. I just made myself a steaming hot mug of my favorite treat these days. Swiss Miss No Sugar Added Hot cocoa with a shot of Kahlua syrup, also sugar free, from Da Vinci. Yummy!
I also always have their sugar free Hazelnut in the house at all time. Just as good in hot chocolate or coffee.
Nighty night! I think I'll take my cocoa to the tub with me, and take a nice warm bubble bath :)
Sex is like snow, you never know how many inches you're going to get or how long it will last. ---unknown
Monday, December 3, 2007
Now, the real crap. As we're putting the things in the car, my son went to put the 55lb bag of dog food into the trunk. Somehow, as he was putting it in there, he ripped a huge hole in the bag, and dog food started spilling all over the trunk and parking lot. Expensive dog food, by the way! I wanted to smack the crap out of him!!!! Somehow, the bag ripped in such a way that I couldn't even just flip it over to try and save the food. It ripped straight across, and somehow bent itself into some sort of "L" shape right at the rip. If I tried to move it, the whole thing would spill all over. So, I just slammed the trunk in a fit of rage, and drove off.
While we were shopping, I had decided we would go to Chipotle for dinner, since it's just down the street from Sam's. Plus, it's one of our absolute favorite places to eat! Anyway, by the time the whole dog food fiasco ended, I was so furious and aggravated, we just went straight home. When we got there, I started trying to figure out how the hell to get the food out of the trunk. While we were driving, a quarter of the bag spilled out all over the trunk. It was a disaster!! I made my son come out and get as much of the food out of the trunk as possible. In the meantime, I was going to bring the rest of the groceries in the house. I opened the back door, and one of the boxes of grape tomatoes I just bought came flying out the door, hits the ground and spills everywhere. Now I'm screaming like a child!! Luckily, it occurred to me to pick them up, since I had to wash them anyway, so the rage subsided slightly.
I bring everything in the house, and then start unloading the dishwasher. I was putting away some really pretty little shot glasses that I received as a Christmas gift last year, and as I was putting them back in the box, they somehow shifted and one of them broke. I seriously thought I was going to stroke out! It was just one shitty thing after another! Ugh, I'm really pissed about the glass. They were so pretty. They were from Pier 1. They were handblown, and the base of the glass was a ball with swirls of color throughout. I guess they're hard to describe, but I couldn't find a picture on the Pier 1 website. Anyway, now my set of four is a set of three :(
After all that, I still had to figure out what the hell I was going to make for dinner, since I acted like a child, and didn't go to Chipotle to spite my son. That, however, ended up working out just fine. I whipped out a big pot of vegetable and bean soup, that was wonderful, if I do say so myself. My son had three big bowls, and kept telling me how good it was. So, kudos to Mom!
OK, I think I'm finished venting now. And, I have yet to mention anything about school, huh? Oh well, I'm too pooped to write anymore. It was an alright day, not good, not bad. Tomorrow we'll be treated to a Christmas show by the Salvation Army, so that should be a nice little break. I'm off to help my son with his science fair board, so I'm sure I'll need to vent again later!
Always be nice to your children because they are the ones who will choose your rest home. ---Phyllis Diller
I'm going to try and remember this while I'm working on this board. I wish I could have remember it while I was screeching at my son in the Sam's Club parking lot :(
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Here's a really wacky version of I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas:
Here's what I found for I'm Getting Nuttin' for Christmas. I found several, but this one was so silly! I can not believe people will let their children act like this for the sole purpose of putting them on YouTube. This version of the song is not exactly the one we'll be singing. Our version is faster.
As I sit here typing, tonight's Christmas special is on the TV. It's Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer. I can't believe they managed to take that goofy song and turn it into an hour long cartoon.
I'm off to take a quick nap before Desperate Housewives. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday evening!
Saturday, December 1, 2007
I actually remembered to write down a couple of cute things that were said today. Both were said during our reading groups. A couple of my higher groups were reading a book today that had a picture of a huge sub sandwich. In the picture, there were three children holding it up. It looked like one of those 3-foot party subs. Anyway, as we were reading, I heard D.J. say to P.M, "Man, P, that's a big ol' sandwich." But, he was so serious and matter-of-fact, I could help but crack up! Of course, P.M. responded, just as seriously, "Yeah, that sure is a big ol' sandwich."
Then, when another group was sitting with me, we were playing a sorting game, where they had to sort picture cards by the beginning sound. One of the pictures was a sock. I ask the group, "What's this?" They answer, "A sock." As I start to say, "What sound does it start with?" I hear D.D. say, "Socks is nasty." So I look at him, and he looks at me and he says, "Sometime when you smell your socks, they smell nasty!" As he's saying it, he's nodding his head so seriously, like he was telling me something really important. It was hysterical!
I pulled out my Christmas CDs the other day for the babies. I have one that's all instrumental that I use during rest time. There's another that's an R&B Christmas CD, which I love, and I find the babies really like it, too, because they can identify with that style of music pretty easily. Then I have two that are specifically for kids, with kids singing on the CD. One has all silly songs, which of course, are the ones I love. The three we've been listening to (over and over and over and....) are I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas, All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth, and I'm Getting Nuttin' for Christmas. The one they absolutely adore is I'm Getting Nuttin' for Christmas. After having to literally put the CD player on 'repeat' today, I decided that's the one we're going to sing for the Christmas Assembly. At the beginning of the week, when I first played it for them, I knew they would like it, but I wasn't sure about using it for the show. I thought maybe the parents would be offended in some way, I think that I was implying that their children were bad. I guess I should mention that the chorus of the song goes,
I broke my bat on Johnny's head,
Somebody snitched on me.
I hid a frog in sister's bed,
Somebody snitched on me.
I spilled some ink on mommy's rug,
I made Tommy ate a bug,
Bought some gum with a penny slug,
Somebody snitched on me!
Ohhh!! I'm getting nuttin' for Christmas,
Mommy and Daddy are mad.
I'm getting nuttin' for Christmas,
Cuz I ain't been nuttin' but bad!
I put a tack on teacher's chair,
Somebody snitched on me.
I tied a knot in Suzie's hair,
Somebody snitched on me.
I did a dance on Mommy's plants,
Climbed a tree and tore my pants,
Filled the sugar bowl with ants,
Somebody snitched on me!
Ohhh!!! I'm getting nuttin' for Christmas,
Mommy and Daddy are mad.
I'm getting nuttin' for Christmas,
Cuz I ain't been nuttin' but bad!
I won't be seeing Santa Claus,
Somebody snitched on me.
He won't come visit me because
Somebody snitched on me.
Next year, I'll be going straight,
Next year, I'll be good, just wait!
I'd start now, but it's too late,
Somebody snitched on me!
So, you'd better be good, whatever you do,
Cuz if you're bad, I'm warning you,
You'll get nuttin' for Christmas!
I wish I could attach audio files here. Maybe there's a way I just don't know about. If you do, please share!
I came across this cute quote to share today:
I stopped believing in Santa Claus when my mother took me to see him in a department store, and he asked for my autograph. ---Shirley Temple
Thursday, November 29, 2007
The babies are steadily becoming worse and worse behaved. They are learning from the examples that the rest of the school is setting for them. I hate when I have to get mean and grouchy with them. I end up feeling terribly guilty on the way home. But, they are really wearing my patience thin. Today was Day 55 of school, so WHY do I STILL have to say, "NO TALKING DURING REST TIME!" "Keep your hands to yourself!" "Stop jumping on the stairs!" "No name calling!" and the two hundred other things I have to repeat all day? They had no trouble following the rules in the beginning of the year. What the hell happened? OK, I'm not going to complain anymore about my babies. At the end of the day, I love them all to pieces. And, after all, they're 5 years old! They're basically acting like they're supposed to, right? It's just that when you have almost 30 of them to deal with at once, it's a bit trying!
No more bitching about school tonight. Here's another of my favorite Christmas specials from my childhood. I think it's going to be on TV next Friday. Enjoy!
Be sure to cast your vote for your favorite special!
You spend the first 2 years of their life teaching them to walk and talk. Then you spend the next 16 telling them to sit down and shut-up. ---unknown
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Used to be you had to arrive at 7:30 to get a decent parking spot. Now, you can get there almost at our "start" time (8:30) and still find a good spot. And, if you're there past 3:00, the parking lot looks like a ghost town. Weird! How does the Big Cheese not see the drastic decline in staff morale? Then again, does he even care?
The babies were in trouble today. Ms. H. met me at the lunchroom, as usual, to walk them up to art, and I warned them, as usual, to walk properly and behave, etc. But, when I went to pick them up, there were several boys standing because they were in trouble. Then Ms. H. proceeded to tell me about how terribly they behaved on the way up the stairs, and that when they got to the classroom, they went running in all wild.
It might have helped if the damn art teacher was in the room when they got there!! Dori and I ran out for lunch on our prep, and when we were getting in my car, there was Mr. L., standing outside smoking. AS USUAL! Ugh!!! Ms. H. told me that she's had enough of him, always leaving her to 'babysit' classes while he goes outside and smokes every period. And, she's tried to give him some suggestions as to what to do with the kids, OTHER than hand them a blank sheet of copy paper, but he's not interested in listening to any of her ideas. He's almost as big an ass as El Queso Grande!
Anyway, Ms. H. said that after the Christmas break, she's done with him. She'd rather spend her time down in my room, helping with my babies. She's so sweet! I think I mentioned in a previous post that she's been working with T.D. because he needs SO much help. She said she'd rather come down and do that for free everyday, instead of working for Mr. L. anymore.
Speaking of T.D., he wore his pajama shirt under his uniform shirt today. Sounds harmless, right? Well, it would have been, except that his pajama shirt had a Spiderman picture on it. Spidey's head actually LIT UP with flashing lights! Guess what a pain in the ass that was all day. I finally tucked it as far down the front of his pants as I could, but it came out a couple more times. Like, at rest time, when the room was dark. There was T.D.'s white uniform shirt, with flashes of red coming from under it. It actually was kind of funny, but I would never tell him that. Apparently, Mom didn't know he wore it to school, which begs the question, "Who the HELL dressed this 5 year old baby this morning?!" I told her about it at the end of the day, to let her know he can't wear it again, and she had no idea what I was talking about. What the hell?! Ok, let it go, let it go, let it go....
Well, today's holiday specials are Shrek the Halls, followed by How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I'm actually taping the Shrek special for the babies. Maybe we'll watch it this week, if they don't get in trouble again tomorrow!
Here's a cute little video someone put together for YouTube, featuring one of my favorite holiday songs. WLIT plays it several times a day, and if it comes on in the morning while the babies are coming in, we turn it up and enjoy it! I hope you'll do the same :)
Christmas is the season when you buy this year's gifts with next year's money. ---Author Unknown
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I started hanging up some Christmas decorations today, much to the babies' delight. They are really looking forward to making some of their own. I always have samples of the projects we make, so I showed them a few, and they were very excited. I'll definitely be posting pictures of what they make.
Right now, the Charlie Brown Christmas special is on TV. I love that movie! This morning on the radio, the morning show DJs I listen to were talking about how goofy we get when one of these specials is on TV. Even though we own them on tape and/or DVD, we get so excited when they're on TV. They were talking about how they did that last week for the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special, and one was saying she did it when The Wizard of Oz came on. She said she practically cut Thanksgiving dinner short, so they could run to the TV and watch it, even though she owns several copies of it! I was thinking about it, and I think it has to do with the fact that when we were kids, there wasn't the option of having these specials on tape or DVD that we could watch anytime we wanted. We had to wait ALL YEAR to see them on TV. And, it was a huge deal, at least in our house. My mom would make us popcorn, in a pot with oil, thank you very much! No microwaves yet! :( And we would all snuggle up on the couch, in the dark, and watch together. My theory is that these TV specials evoke such wonderful memories of childhood, we can't resist when they're on TV. It actually bothers me a little that our children will never experience that. They live in an "on demand" world. If they want to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas a hundred times, (or in July!) they can. I think that takes something away from it. But, that's just my humble opinion.
OK, I've managed, once again, to drift far away from school talk. I've been tossing around the idea of starting a second blog where I can blather on and on like this, and keep this blog true to school stuff. Perhaps during my wonderful Christmas break I'll finally do it! Until then, deal with my tangents, please!
Adults are always asking little kids what they want to be when they grow up because they're looking for ideas. ---Paula Poundstone
I liked this one for today, because watching Charlie Brown made me feel like a little kid again!
Monday, November 26, 2007
I started taking the Christmas stuff out today, and the babies are already loving it. I read a Christmas book this morning for our read aloud time called "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell." It was the least Christmas-y of my box of books. They'll get more Christmas-y as time goes on this month.
Luckily, I got busy this morning and didn't take down the Thanksgiving papers in the hallway. I just found out we're having another walk-through tomorrow. Rumor has it they'll be specifically looking for math and science work. The only math work we have posted is out in the hall!
Keeping it short tonight, the Dancing with the Stars Finals are tonight!!
A fool's brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence University education. ---George Bernard Shaw
Thursday, November 22, 2007
I realize it seems like there's static "snow" here, but it's real snow!
I was trying to capture the dusting of snow on the roof of my garage.
The deck is starting to have a lovely little blanket....
OK, I took this through my kitchen window like all the rest, but I was dumb enough to take it through the screen, too. DORK! This, however, was the very first thing I saw this morning when I woke up. I took one look at that table, and immediately became happy!
Here's the puppy! Luckily, this is his good side :) I tried to get the picture as soon as he came in, but he was so excited, he wouldn't sit still! You can see he's trying to get back out. Buster absolutely ADORES this weather. His momma was a purebred Husky, and the minute the first snowflake comes down each year, it shows! He looks more like a Golden, so over the years we've determined (with the help of several vets) that his poppa must be a Golden/Shepard/Chow mix. (I was told about the Chow when he was just a puppy. Buster had the craziest speckled tongue, which I was told instantly by the vet meant he has Chow in him. The specks looked like he had something on his tongue, like maybe leaves or something. The first day I had him, I kept chasing him around, trying to get my hand in his mouth to sweep out whatever was in there. It took all day to pin him down long enough to realize it was just his tongue! The speckles have spread over the years, and now he has a mottled purple & pink tongue.)
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Close up of Fall Counting
The Big Picture
The crazy turkeys I mentioned yesterday.
What I forgot to mention is that I traced their feet to make the turkey bodies. That was hilarious! The kids loved that they got to not only take their shoes off in school, but then I had them stand on a chair next to me and put their stocking feet on the table on top of the paper so I can trace them. They all giggled like crazy. "That tickles!" was heard over and over. Too cute!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Today was Day 2 of the after school program. It went pretty much as smoothly as Day 1. I was busy today, though, with a lot of paperwork, which was good because those two hours flew by. I actually have more to do when I get there tomorrow. I'm putting together time sheets for us on my computer, which should cut down on paperwork later. It'll be so much easier to just go in and change the dates and a few numbers, rather than fill out the monthly time sheet by hand. Once those are formatted and saved, I should have much more free time on my hands after school. I may just feel guilty about getting paid to sit there for two hours each day. NOT! I'll have time to get work done for my own class, which will be great. That's an extra four hours a week for planning and preparing. I also started making badges for all the students in our program. These badges will serve as the students' passes to come to their after school classroom. It's been time consuming, though, because I'm doing them on the computer (so they look a little more professional) and each child's information needs to be entered for each badge. I'm almost done, and that's what I plan to work on in the morning. I'm going to laminate them, and put them on a cord so the kids can wear them around their necks. (WOW! Let me apologize now for making you read this last paragraph. BORING!)
Tomorrow should be a fun day. First of all, my beautiful nieces will be coming to school with me. They only had school yesterday, and are off the rest of the week. It's like that every year, so they usually come to school with me on Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving. They are always very helpful. On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I always have a "Charlie Brown" day. We watch the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving movie, and then go to the lunchroom to have our own Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Feast. For those of you who may not remember, it consists of popcorn, jelly beans, pretzel sticks and toast. The babies always get such a huge kick out of it every year. They think it's just so totally cool that we're eating the same thing that Snoopy and gang did. They are so easily pleased.
This quote seemed very appropriate in regard to my "easily pleased" babies:
A three year old child is a being who gets almost as much fun out of a fifty-six dollar set of swings as it does out of finding a small green worm. ~Bill Vaughan
Monday, November 19, 2007
This one cracked me up while I was taking his dictation! At the end, he says, "I KNOW how to cook!" so matter-of-factly, I had to write it at the bottom so I would remember that he said it. He had me rolling!
Humor helps us to think out of the box. The average child laughs about 400 times per day, the average adult laughs only 15 times per day. What happened to the other 385 laughs?---Anonymous
Well, C.B. gave me all 15 of those laughs with his recipe :) Actually, thanks to my babies, I always get well over my 15 laughs per day. They keep me young. At least young at heart!
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Be sure to check out the list of ingredients for each of these. That's usually the best part. This little darling's recipe is a bit complicated, with two different cooking temperatures...
It seems this little one's mom must not cook much. Look where he says to cook the turkey... :)
Interesting ingredients here. Talk about slow cooking....
This baby's recipe is the one that was the closest to actually being right. Too cute!! I'm not sure where the chicken strips, meat and chicken fit in, though.
I'll put a few more up another day. One funny trend I noticed is that almost every baby listed chicken as an ingredient. Too funny! I had to give most of them a million hints before they said "turkey!"