Friday, February 29, 2008

The other shoe has dropped....

I knew in the back of my mind, I wasn't going to be able to keep this bug at bay much longer. I'm a little surprised that it took this long to hit, but it makes perfect sense, since we have a long weekend. I seem to inevitably get sick every time we have a long weekend. It started this morning, but then really kicked in around 2:00 this afternoon. Thank goodness we were celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday, because we watched a Dr. Seuss movie for the last part of the afternoon. By the time I got to my son's school, all hell had broken loose. I could tell by the waves of light-headedness that I had a fever. Sure enough, when I got home and took my temperature, it was 100. Doesn't sound like much, I know, but my normal body temp is below 98.6 (one more reason I'm convinced I have a nearly-nonexistant metabolism) so for me, that's high. I literally can tell when my temp hits 99, which obviously is only .4 of a degree higher than "normal."

At any rate, I came home and went straight to my bed. As luck would have it, my son's father was waiting for us at my house to pick him up, which worked out phenomenally because Buster decided to shit and piss from one end of my kitchen to the other. My ex-husband cleaned the whole mess, right down to mopping the floor when he finished, all while I was lying down.

I managed to snooze for a while, but just a little bit ago, I had such a violent sneeze attack, the sneezes felt like they started down at my toes and took my lungs out with them. And, exactly like my darling friend, smileygirl, a managed to wet my pants. Oh, yes, I sure did! It's great that I've reached that late stage in my life where I can share these little things, isn't it? Anyway, since I had to obviously change my clothes, I was forced to get up and move around and I thought I would check in real quick.

I had intended to write a bit about our celebration today at school, but these few paragraphs have exhausted me, so I'm going to hobble back to bed. Let's just hope I don't wet it!! Maybe I'll use our day off Monday to actually write about my babies...
Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful. ---Buddha

Thursday, February 28, 2008

"Your kids was OFF the CHAIN!"

No less than 7 adults said that exact sentence to me today. The first one didn't even let me swipe in before telling me. Apparently, both kindergarten classes decided to severely misbehave yesterday while Dori and I were at our professional development meeting. I even had two different parents come find me specifically to tell me how bad the class was. Pay no mind to the fact that one of the moms was drunk as a skunk and high as kite at the time.... Needless to say, both of our classes were on lock-down today. The last person to tell me "your kids was off the chain yesterday" was the Big Cheese himself. Professional, right?

I just came home from a lovely dinner with a friend I haven't seen in a while. We went to our favorite restaurant, Casa Margarita. Just as the name implies, they make a hell of a margarita. As a matter of fact, I'd say I'm more than a little tipsy right now. They serve their margaritas in a fish bowl, which is really nice! Luckily, the full effect of the tequila in my Cadillac Margarita didn't kick in until I was a few blocks from home. But now, man, I'm feelin' it!! I just made the mistake of chasing my drink with a few Hershey's Pot of Gold caramels. They are not mixing well in my belly right now :( On that note, I'm going to go lie down...
One reason I don't drink is that I want to know when I am having a good time. ---Nancy Astor

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

What a waste of time...


Today, Dori and I, and another coworker, had a professional development meeting at the Adler Planetarium. Sounds like it would be great, right? WRONG!! Today SUCKED ASS!!!
As you can see from the picture, the Planetarium is located right on the lake. Do you know what it feels like to be out in the winter, with freezing winds blowing in off the lake at you? Now, try imagining that while you're freezing in that blowing wind, you have to climb up and down three loonngg flights of stairs, covered in ice and snow by the way, before you can find an open door through which you can enter and escape the frigid temperatures. Ugh!! It smacked of a CPS event! I won't bore you with all the minutia, but let me just share that we spent the first 2 1/2 hours of the day simply introducing ourselves!!
After lunch (which actually was very nice since it was an hour of sitting and chatting while looking out across beautiful Lake Michigan at our gorgeous city. I didn't, however, enjoy the $12 price tag of my lunch!) we spent 30-45 minutes evaluating a bin of books, and deciding if they would be a helpful addition to the science program. So, basically, we were doing the work of the science people from CPS!! Isn't it their job to decide what books to use!? Don't get me wrong, I appreciate it anytime we are given the opportunity to give input on curriculum. However, that's not what this was. The presenters had never even laid eyes on these books! They wanted us to basically decide if they should even consider these books. OK, stop, enough complaining, at least I wasn't at the Hell-Hole today, right?
For 60 seconds you are angry at someone you lose 60 seconds of happiness with them. ---unknown

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

You wanna do WHAT to me?!

Oh, my poor babies! Today, about half of my class took part in a lead-screening test at school. Their parents signed consent forms for this, oh, I don't know, back in SEPTEMBER!! I was told at about 10:50 this morning, while the kids were at lunch, that we would be taking the babies down around noon for this test. I wasn't completely sure until we got there how this was going to be done. I was hoping at the most it would be a finger prick, but alas, it was not. I don't think I've mentioned this before, but I have an absolute phobia about needles. I've had dental work, including a root canal, done without any anesthesia just so I wouldn't have to deal with the shots. I gave birth, for God's sake, without any drugs. And believe me, it was NOT an easy delivery! (I'll save that story for another day!)

Just my luck, I have to take nearly 30 5&6 year olds down to a room so half could have their blood drawn, while the other half watched!! Luckily, most of them were very brave about it. But, of course, there were a few that completely freaked! Two of the girls went absolutely ape shit. I had to hold both of them in my arms and let them sob into my shoulder while the phlebotomist drew the vials of blood. In the meantime, I'm ready to freakin' pass out myself!! I was really impressed with myself, quite frankly. I made a comment to one of the office ladies, who happened to come in to see me, that next year we need to have the parents come on test day. Immediately, the phlebotomist says, "OH NO!! It's even worse when the parents are here!" And I know she's absolutely right. I had a much harder time when my son had blood drawn when he was little. It may as well have been me having blood drawn. OK, enough, I'm starting to feel queasy...

"Before giving a blood transfusion, find out if the blood is affirmative or negative." ---anonymous child

Monday, February 25, 2008

Don't breathe on me!!!

There is some God-awful bug going around here. You may recall that my son was sick the week before last. He's still trying to shake the last of his cough. Well, last week my brother got it. As a matter of fact, my sister ended up taking him to the emergency room Thursday night. He's such a typical man, waiting until he sees The Grim Reaper coming up the driveway before he does anything about his sickness! Grim Reaper

I had 7 babies out sick today. One of their moms came to pick up her homework and told me she'd be out for the whole week. My buddy D.J. came for breakfast before school, but one of the lunch ladies marched him straight to the office and called his house to have someone come and get him because he was burning up. Idiots! That's the kind of house he comes from! Knowing that helps me draw on that reserve of patience I often need when dealing with him.

Today was the 101st Day of School, so naturally, we watched 101 Dalmatians. Well, part of it, because the little hellions had a hard time behaving today. Tomorrow, we'll be watching 102 Dalmatians, which is the live-action movie starring Glenn Close. She's a perfect Cruella DeVille! Wednesday, Dori and I will be at the Adler Planetarium for a workshop. We might actually stay for this one! But, somehow, I doubt it. Ha! This week is going to fly by. Then, we're off Monday in honor of Casimir Pulaski. (I'm pretty sure this in only a Chicago thing.) I'll be going to what will probably be my last In The Loop show. I'm so bummed that it's been cancelled.

I wanted to give a "shout out" to Mary Beth over at Hey Teach. She and her very generous sister sent Dori and me some goodies for our babies to help us celebrate Read Across America. We're going to use the goodies to celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday on Friday. Thank you, Mary Beth and Helen!! I've added a link to her blog, as well as the business, so please check them out.
Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You. ---Dr. Seuss







Friday, February 22, 2008

100 down, 73 to go!!

Yay!!! Today was the 100th Day!! I took pictures to share with you, but unfortunately, I downloaded them to my computer at school, and then I couldn't email them to myself for some reason. I'll try to take care of it on Monday. Overall, the kids were WAY too rowdy for me, and we ended up not even doing half the stuff I had planned. Oh well, that's the way the cookie crumbles.

I woke up in a great mood today, and believe it or not, here it is almost 5:30 and I'm STILL in a good mood. What's going on?! Even the kids driving me CRAAZZYY didn't ruin my mood. The sad thing is, as I was driving to school, joking with my son (THAT hasn't happened in a long time. Our mornings are usually very unpleasant because neither of us are morning people!) singing along with the radio, I realized that I used to feel this way everyday before the Hell-Hole sucked it right out of me. It's taken years of stress and utter chaos to turn me into the cranky witch I usually am when I arrive there each day. I miss being me :( I hope I can find me again. I suppose I'd better follow Dori's orders, and abandon ship, huh? Today really reminded me how much I truly love being a teacher, and why I've dedicated my life to "shaping the future of the world."

A little personal stuff to share....my mom had her latest check-up/bloodwork a few weeks ago (she has to do it every three months) and she went to see the oncologist for the results today. Once again, everything is wonderful! She's "clean." My dad gets such a kick out of telling everyone she's a "clean girl." As opposed to a dirty girl, get it? Tee hee! He started that after her last set of tests came back clean. Today, when I called to check how things went, as soon as he answered the phone, I heard, "She's a clean girl!" My dad is so cute! The doctor actually told her that she could go six months this time between blood tests. That, however, wasn't going to work for her because the six month mark falls smack in the middle of her time at her villa. (rough, right?) The doctor agreed to let her do it in October when she comes home, even though that's eight months from now. She couldn't be happier! That goes double for us.

Well, I'm off to try and figure out what the heck my son is going to wear to a wedding tomorrow. Now that he's lost 40 pounds, he has nothing that fits him. Leave it to me to wait til the night before the wedding to worry about it, huh? Have a great weekend!!
A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.---Mignon McLaughlin

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Welcome...

...to my friend, Leslie. Hopefully some of you have checked out the link that's been on my page for months for Leslie's online articles in Pregnancy.org. I just found out tonight from her husband that she, too, has a blog. I've added a link for that, as well. Check it out!

I was so happy to hear about this blog because now I can keep up on what's happening with my friends, The Klipsch Family. Jake and I used to work together at the Hell-Hole. We actually started there the same year. He, however, has managed to escape. Sadly, not only did he escape, but he has also moved alllll the way to Iowa!! Boo hoo!! I miss them, and their two totally adorable boys, Ollie and Eli. If nothing else, I can at least see recent pictures of my boys. I love Jake to death, but he really SUCKS at keeping in touch!! Although, I did learn tonight, as I read every single post on Leslie's blog, that Jake is now working on his PhD, so I'll cut him some slack ;-)

Day 99...

...one day to go! Tomorrow will be our 100th Day of School (YAY!) so we were doing some things today to prepare for the celebration. On of the activities we did was a called "Wacky Wish." I found it on one of the websites I came across yesterday.
If I could have 100
Of anything at all,
I'd wish to have 100 _________s.
Now, that would be a ball!

The babies were coming to my desk, one at a time, to tell me what they wished for so I could help them (all 29 of them!) write it. Well, my little darling D.S. came to me, with his signature goofy grin, and said he wanted 100 "shmarshmallows!" I held in my giggle and said, "Oh, marshmallows." He says, "Yeah, shmarshmallows!" I had to let the guffaw escape after that one!

I had the babies keep their answers a secret, to avoid having 29 of the same answer, and it worked out so well. When they finished their papers, I put them all together in a class book, and then read it to them. There were just a few repeats, but overall, I was impressed with their creativity. Wishes were made for 100 lollipops, computers, cars, pennies, nickles, dollars, cookies, puppies, even queens. They did a great job!

At the end of the day, we were practicing a couple of 100 Day songs, and as I was flipping through my song book, I came across some songs about summer. The babies begged for me to share one, so we sang the Ice Cream Song.

(Sung to the tune of For He's a Jolly Good Fellow)

____________ (insert child's name) likes to eat ice cream,

____________ likes to eat ice cream,

____________ likes to eat ice cream,

and he/she likes _____________ (flavor) the best!

Well, leave it to D.S. to crack me up again!! I was going around the room, giving each baby a turn. I filled in the name, that child sang the flavor. When it was D.S.'s turn, he sings, "Vanana!" I chuckled, and asked, "Vanilla?" He says, "Uh-huh, vanana!" (insert BIG goofy grin!) Again, I ask for clarification - "Banana?!" He vigorously nods his head. "VANANA!" I couldn't take it anymore, so I just moved on to the next baby. Too cute!!

Sometimes I wish I could set up a webcam and let the world in to our classroom, so you all can enjoy these silly moments as they happen. Actually, I wish I could broadcast what happens all over the Hell-Hole all day. Gee, today you would have seen the Big Cheese crack two of Dori's babies "upside their heads." I shouldn't admit it, but it made me laugh out loud. They both deserved it, so I didn't feel bad for them at all. I'm hoping maybe now El Queso Grande is starting to see what it's like to deal with that many 5 & 6 year-olds at one time! Obviously, he didn't handle it very well, and he was simply passing them in the damn hallway! Try sitting in a crowded room with them for 5 1/2 hours every day, Big Cheese!!

Smack your child every day. If you don't know why -- he does. ~Joey Adams

Joey and the Big Cheese must be home boys!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Brilliant, and heart breaking, all at the same time...

I was just checking my friend Melissa's webpage, like I do every night, and she mentioned this morning that she was going to put this video up today. It's so powerful, I wanted to share it with those of you who didn't already see it on Oprah. Let me warn you now, you'll need some Kleenex.
http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docId=8577255250907450469&hl=en

Darn...

...I'm not needed for jury duty tomorrow. I was on stand-by for tomorrow, and just made my required phone call to hear the pre-recorded message, which stated only those with last names starting with A-H are needed. I was really hoping I'd be picked, just for the day away from the Hell-Hole. How sad is that?

Things are really just going downhill fast around there. I can't believe Dori even shows up everyday, with the motley crew she has right now. I had to step in at lunch time because a group of her boys were pushing and shoving each other in the hall while she was trying to get the rest of her class from the lunchroom. (We wouldn't want to bother the other 8 adults in the lunchroom, and ask them to actually get off their asses, now would we?!) Then suddenly, one of the little hellions SPIT in the faces of two other boys. And not just a little wet spittle, actual pieces of freakin' chewed up food!! I thought I was going to be sick! It took all my strength not to crack the little brat upside his head! Naturally, the only person that handles discipline issues wasn't at school today, so Dori was, once again, left to her own devices. Don't expect any help or support around that joint, cuz it ain't gonna happen!

As far as my own bunch of nutballs, they're starting to get a bit more out of control everyday, as well, now that I've received 5 new students in just the past couple of weeks. Just when you get the group "trained" to follow the program, a new crew comes in to throw a wrench into the works. Damn, it sucks! I'm going to have to revert back to being the Mean Queen until these new ones get with the program. Hell, by then it'll be May, and the year will almost be over. Whatever it takes, I guess, because this isn't cutting it.

Allow me to wander off on a non-school-related subject for a minute...I heard some sad news today. My new favorite daytime talk show, In The Loop, has been cancelled. I'm so sad about it. Not just because I loved going to the three tapings I attended, or because of the massive give-aways I received, but more because of all the people who are now out of jobs. It's terrible. My friend and I are going to try and attend a few more tapings before it ends on March 28. Gee, I hope that wasn't priviledged information....

Well, it really is a good thing I won't be out tomorrow because I have a lot to do for Friday. That's the 100th Day of School! Big celebration happening in Room 104! I have all kinds of things to cut out for our "100" crowns, not to mention mats to make for us to count out our 100 items that each child is supposed to bring to school. I'm actually a little excited about it. And, luckily, the 100th day fell on a Friday this year, which makes it even better. Too bad we aren't off Monday...tee hee!

If there are any teachers out there reading this that are looking for some cute songs about the 100th Day, I came across this website that had some good ones. This one has a bunch of great activities. I also came across this quote:
Those who can, teach. Those who can't, do something far less important. ---Shirley Frye

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Oops, I almost forgot...

...to share this little story. Last Saturday night, my sister and I went to see some friends of mine (RICO) play at a local bar. Well, after having a great time hanging out with friends and dancing our behinds off, we were talking to one of the security guys, who just so happened to go to high school with my sister. After we said our good-byes, we started to walk out of the room. The most adorable young man leaned toward me as we walked by, and I hear, "Excuse me, but is your last name L?" As soon as he said it, I looked at that cute little face and recognized it, but I wasn't 100% sure from where. A half a second later it hit me. "PLEASE don't tell me you were one of my students!" Sure enough, even as he was saying his name, it all came flooding back to me, and said his name with him. Good Lord!! Do you know how bizarre it is to be at a bar with one of your former students? He was surprised, and I think a little touched, that I actually remembered him. I told him I was surprised that he would even remember me (especially because I haven't worked at that school in 11 years, and he was in the last class I had) and he says, "Of course! You were always my favorite teacher!" So sweet!!

Anyone who teaches knows all the little "teacher quotes" that get printed everywhere (i.e. To teach is to touch a life forever) and this little reunion really confirms it for me. I remember every teacher I've ever had, from kindergarten to graduate school, but I thought that was just me. (You know, being a nerd and all!) But, now I see maybe it's not just me. This is going to make me re-examine my teaching, and the kind of impact I want to make on my students. I've always been blessed with students who come back to see me year after year, telling me I was always their favorite teacher and so on. But, I never really stopped to think about the actual impact I may have had on their lives. I just always assumed they were coming because I was still there (not so common in the Hell-Hole) and I always enjoyed their visits. Let's face it, it's definitely a stroke for the ego to hear those nice things about yourself. But, now I'm thinking, happily, those things may actually be true! Maybe I have had a positive impact on their lives. At least I hope so, as that's what I've dedicated my life to doing.
A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. ---Henry Brooks Adams

What a day!

NOT the kind of day you want to have after a wonderful three-day weekend. I got three, count 'em, THREE new students this morning!!! WTF?!!? Last week, Dori had two kids put back in her room that had transfered out earlier in the year. For some reason, when this happens (and it happens quite often with our VERY transient population) they always put the child back in the room they were in originally. Well, that put her at 30 students. I, however, only had 27. (Only - HA!) I knew I had one that was transfering out as of last Friday, so Dori and I decided I would take the last two kids that were put in her room, and then we'd each have 28. Still WAY too many in a kindergarten class, but at least it was fair. Well, wouldn't you know it, at about 9:30, here comes a mom with her daughter. Another new student. This mom also has a son who was put into Dori's class. And, no, they're not twins. Well, some would say they're "Irish twins." They were born 10 months apart, so they're both in kindergarten. Mom also had two more little ones with her, who looked like they could be twins, but mom said no. Another set of Irish twins! Crazy!!

Speaking of crazy, Dori let the Big Cheese know last week about our situation. She was simply looking for a little support. Instead, she got insults and put-downs. He really is the most unprofessional person I've ever encountered. I wish I could put the actual email here that he sent back to Dori. I'll work on that for tomorrow. In the meantime, check out her post about it. On a side note, Dori will definitely be leaving me next year. She accepted a position at a charter high school for next school year. I'm so very happy for her, but I am going to miss her something fierce!! Her leaving is the kick in the butt I needed, however, to seriously do something about leaving the Hell-Hole. As a matter of fact, she keeps volunteering to update and send out my resume!! That's why I LOVE her!!
Friends are the most important ingredient in this recipe of life. ---unknown

Friday, February 15, 2008

All I have to say is...

...thank God it's Friday. Thank God it's the Friday before a three-day weekend! I'm trying to start this nice long weekend on a positive note, so I'm not going to even write about school today, other than to say I was lucky enough to be able leave about a half hour early to get home to my sick little baby. Sadly, he isn't really feeling any better. As a matter of fact, he slept until about 2:00 this afternoon, causing me to think I overdosed him on Nyquil this morning! He just took a long, steamy shower, and I'm about to make him something to eat. Have a great weekend!
God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers. -- A Jewish Proverb

Thursday, February 14, 2008

How many more times....

can I tell you what an asshole the Big Cheese is? The whole day today drove me crazy because the kids were all geeked up about Valentine's Day. Well, I held the "party" over their heads all day. "If you don't stop ----, you won't be able to participate." Well, J.H. and T.B. decided that not only were they going to be out of the room without permission, they were going to have a water fight at the drinking fountain outside our door. We actually were coming back from snack, and they were supposed to take a quick '1-2-3' drink, and sit down. Well, they decided to stay out there and throw water at each other, so they both were told they were out of the party. (They both had been given several other warnings ALL day. This was the last straw.) I had them sit on the floor in the front of the room and watch the rest of us celebrate. Everyone passed out their cards and treats, and they just sat there. They didn't know it, but I had taken both of their "mailboxes" and put a few treats in it for them, that I was going to give them tomorrow. Well, the end of the day came, I dismissed the class, and started getting things ready for our after school party.

What the hell does all that have to do with El Queso Grande you ask? Well, a few minutes after dismissal, he has the fucking BALLS to come up to me and ask me, in an irritated voice no less, "Why did you send that little boy home with no candy?" Umm...hello...it's called a fucking punishment!!!!! That pretty much sums up what's wrong with the Hell-Hole! The bad kids are given the same rewards/treats as the good kids. There are absolutely NO consequences for their actions! I could give a shit that J.H. went home crying, he should have followed the same damn rules the other kids in class did! Here's an idea, BC, mind your own damn business!! How 'bout you work on coming up with some discipline policies in this cluster fuck you call a school?! How 'bout you actually require these kids to EARN something, instead of handing them everything!!? Gee, there's a novel concept, huh? No wonder these kids all have this sense of entitlement. They don't have to work for anything! OK, my blood pressure is starting to rise again, so it's time to move on...

I did get some really sweet little gifts from some of my babies today. They're so cute! Of course, they ALL drew me Valentine's Day pictures in art class, too. That's why I love them so much!

My own baby stayed home sick today, so I'm going to go bring him some homemade soup I have simmering on the stove. Smells great, by the way! I can't wait to have a bowl myself. See ya tomorrow. Thank God it'll be Friday!!! Oh, and...
Chocolate Valentine
Happy Valentines Day
Basement smells bad. Look for cat poops, change litter. Happy Valentines Day. ---Martha Stewart, in a note to her gardener






Wednesday, February 13, 2008

This Just In....

...I HATE MY FUCKING JOB!!!! Why am I even ever surprised at the level of stupidity at the Hell-Hole?!?! I'm SOOO sick of the Big Cheese, I don't even know what to do about it. It takes every bit of strength I have to not punch him in the face when he's talking to me. Part of that is the fact that he insists on TOUCHING when he talks!! Then, add to that the fact that he will look you dead in the eye and LIE to your face! Ugh!!! I can't stand him!


There was an "issue" today regarding our field trip, and one of the office women. Basically, she accepted money from a student, but never told us (specifically Dori, since it was her student) so the little girl wasn't on our list. We left her behind today when we went to the aquarium, but then found out AFTER we came back that she was supposed to go. I can't even count the number of times this woman has done this exact thing!! She's such a stupid bitch!! Then, she was bitching about us to El Queso Grande, trying to say it was our fault!! Bitch! Long story short, Dori and I have decided to cancel our next trip, and not take anymore this year. It's just not worth the hassle! If the office would just mind their own damn business, we'd have a lot less problems!

Speaking of the office NOT minding their own business, the office clerk decided to take attendance for us while we were gone, and screwed it all up. I had kids at school who were marked absent, and kids who stayed home who were marked present! I would say it's unbelievable, but the sad fact is, it IS believable in the Hell-Hole!! Just a little over a week ago, we noticed the attendance was actually doctored. If you recall, the night of Jan. 31, we had about 12 inces of snow dumped on us. The next day, most of the kids in the school stayed home! I had 14 kids come to school, Dori had 7. Well, lo and behold, when Dori pulled up the attendance for that day, most of the kids WE marked absent were suddenly marked TARDY!!! WTF?!?! Gee, how many ways is that wrong? Not to mention illegal! That place is an absolute joke!! I need to change the subject, because I'm about to blow a gasket!!


We had a great time on our trip to the aquarium today. The first thing we did was go to the Oceanarium for the dolphin show. One of my babies was picked to help with the show!! It was great! He actually got to walk out into the tank and touch the dolphins. I tried to get pictures for his mom, but you can hardly see him. For those who have never been to the Shedd Aquarium, the big dolphin tank is built out on the side of the building that faces Lake Michigan. The wall is all glass basically, looking out on the lake. Well, believe it or not, we had a very bright and sunny day today in Chicago. Since the sun was behind the tank, it made all the pictures turn out dark. The only thing that didn't go so well was that we were given a 12:30 lunch slot for the lunchroom. Well, our babies usually have lunch at 10:45, so they were STARVING! The nice thing was, though, as soon as we ate, we went straight out to the bus, and home we went. Oh, and another interesting tidbit...as I was walking into the lunchroom, I heard someone call out my maiden name. I looked across the room and saw a girl I went to high school with standing there! It was so great to see her!

I wanted to share this awesome picture I took of our gorgeous city from the staircase of the Shedd Aquarium. Man, I LOVE Chicago!!
I took this shot from my seat during the dolphin show. It's the Adler Planetarium, which is also on the Museum Campus.


No visit would be complete without seeing my darling babies!!! Could they be any cuter!!!? I'll spare you the other dozen pictures I took of them. ;-)

Well, my brother is trying to convince me to ditch school tomorrow and go to another In The Loop show. After today, it doesn't sound like such a bad idea! I don't want to abandon the babies on Valentine's Day, though, so I'll probably just go to work...

My darling little boy came home from 5 days with his dad not feeling very well. I probably should have let him stay home today, but Mean Mommy made him go. I just gave him a healthy shot of Nyquil, so I'm going to go tuck him in for the night. Hopefully, he'll fall asleep soon, and sleep all night, then wake up feeling much better. He can't even stay home tomorrow because he has a project due. Thankfully, it's finished, so all he has to do is rest the rest of the evening.

When asked if he is sick, he replied "No I'm not sick, my batteries have just runned out"— Boy, 4

Monday, February 11, 2008

Marvelous Monday!!

Well, I've had just a glorious day today!!! Take a look:
http://intheloop.ivillage.com/on_demand/watch
(You may have to put in the date - Feb. 11) Just in case you don't have 40+ minutes to sit and watch this whole show, let me just tell you that I came home with $1,213.70 worth of gifts!! I can't even remember what they all are right now, so watch the show to see them.

On the off chance that you want to know what happened at the Hell-Hole today, take a peek at Dori's blog.

Thank goodness we don't have school tomorrow (Happy Birthday, Abe!) cuz it's snowing like crazy right now, and the windchill is below zero. I plan to stay cuddled up on the couch, watching movies and reading all day tomorrow. I may even go back to school Wednesday feeling re-energized! At least I hope so, because we'll be going on a field trip that day, so I need all the energy I can muster!
When the student is ready the teacher will appear. ---Lao Tzu

Let's hope my babies aren't ready until Wednesday!!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Woo hoo!!! It's FINALLY Friday!!

Imagine...four glorious days without the Hell-Hole!! I'm so excited, I could pee my pants!! Then, when we get back on Wednesday, we have a field trip. Thursday's Valentine's Day, so the day will be filled with plenty of activities. Friday is the only day of "school" we'll have, and then it's another three-day weekend! Now, don't start your complaining about how teachers have so much time off, or I'll be forced to jump through your monitor and throttle you!!

Monday I'll be going downtown again for another In The Loop show. This time, I'm bringing an entire posse! My friend from work (whose son I pick up in the morning), my brother, my cousin, and two of my brother's friends. Hopefully, Dori will also be joining us. (We ARE supposed to be working, but after the day she had today, I don't think it'll be that hard to get her to ditch like me!) I've now gotten pretty chummy with the woman who is the audience coordinator for the show, and she's hookin' us up! She said they wanted an audience that is half men and half women for some reason, so I lined up 5 men. I should get a prize for bringing the most testosterone to the party! It's supposed to be a big give-away day, so I'm looking forward to it. My brother and the other boys were thrilled to hear there's going to be a lingerie fashion show. I'm hoping one of the give-aways is champagne, or a bottle of wine. For some reason, we need to bring ID with us this time that has our date of birth, so I assume we need to be old enough for something.

I realize I haven't really said much about school today, but I'm trying to pack and type at the same time because I'm leaving in about 10 minutes for a Girls' Weekend in Michigan. But, there's plenty to say about today at the Hell-Hole, so I'll be sure to fill you in next week. Have a wonderful weekend. I know I will! I have the important stuff already packed, like the margarita mix and the tequila!!!
In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. ---Kahlil Gibran

We'll definately be sharing some pleasures this weekend, probably from our good friend, Jose Cuervo. I just hope he doesn't give us all headaches in the morning!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

You HAVE to see this...

I know this is completely unrelated to school, but I received this in an email today, and I think as many people as possible should watch this...
http://www.bestviral.com/video/6629/dont_ever_drink_from_hotel_glasses

Come ooOON, 4-day weekend!!

Ok, one day to go until our long weekend. I hope I make it. Today, the babies drove me NUTS!!! My new boy is really pushing me to the edge of my patience. I had finally gotten to the point where my other "special" kids didn't make me want to scream on a daily basis. Partly because I got used to them, but mostly because they finally were getting on board with the program. This kid, though, is making me want to pull my hair out! Luckily, his mom has come to see me at the end of the day for every one of the three days he's been here so far. Hopefully, she's going to stay on top of him. I told her today that I wouldn't be taking him on our upcoming field trips without her because of his behavior, and she was totally with me. I actually had the nerve to suggest she save her $10 and just keep him home those days. I hope she goes with that option.

Hey, whatta ya know? We had REPORT CARDS in our mailboxes this morning! Only two weeks late! Gee, do you think it had anything to do with the fact that I sent every single one of my parents that asked about report cards to the office? I told them just what I was told - they weren't going to print them for kindergarten. Well, the mom I sent yesterday is a bit of a ball-buster, so that must have done the trick.

Keeping it short again tonight. I had a bunch of things I wanted to bitch/complain/vent about, but I'm trying to stay positive. So, that doesn't leave me much to say tonight! :)
It takes but one positive thought when given a chance to survive and thrive to overpower an entire army of negative thoughts.
---Robert H. Schuller

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!!!

Holy Moly!! There's quite a storm going on outside right now. This morning it was raining as I drove my son to school, then it changed to hail as I drove to school. Around 10 it changed to snow, and it hasn't stopped since. We're supposed to get anywhere from 12-14 inches by tomorrow. They cancelled all the after school programs for today, and I'm deperately hoping we can cancel tomorrow, too. I'm also hoping that most of my babies stay home tomorrow. I had 3 get picked up early today because of the storm. Personally, I LOVE it!!! I'd take this over a day in July ANYTIME!

My new girl came today. She's adorable! Despite being triplets, the three girls look very different. It won't be hard to tell them apart at all. Actually, they look like a kindergartner, a 1st grader and a 2nd grader. Wierd! I never put my kids' names on here because of privacy issues, but I just have to share their names (of course no last name!) I have Sierra, and Dori got Tierra and Kierra. Sierra, Tierra and Kierra!! Tierra is the smallest, so of course, in my head, she's Tiny Tierra. Sierra is the one in the middle, and I can remember her name, obviously. That just leaves Kierra. Piece of cake!

Mom warned me that Sierra was a little behind. She said she doesn't know her letters, numbers or colors. However, when I tested her later, it wasn't as bad as her mom made it out to be. She didn't know many capital letters, but she knew more than half of the lowercase. She only knew the numerals 0, 1 and 2. But, she knew all 8 basic colors, and three of the five basic shapes I asked her. She still way ahead of a couple of my "Cherries."

Well, I'm keeping it short tonight. Before I even pulled in the driveway today, my son and I got out and shoveled our entire double-width driveway (it's almost 100 feet long) and I did the sidewalk in front of our house and the neighbors', then we did their driveway. Unfortunately, John saw us and came outside to help us. He actually started to apologize for not having done it already! He's too much! The snow was very heavy and wet, so he couldn't use the snowblower. I actually was thinking to myself that it was like shoveling a slurpee. Anyway, bottom line is...I'm pooped! We just finished dinner, so I'm going to clean up, put my jammies on, and watch some TV in bed. Good night!

Oh! the snow, the beautiful snow,

Filling the sky and earth below,

Over the housetops, over the street,

Over the heads of the people you meet.

Dancing, Flirting, Skimming along.

---J.W. Watson

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Hi, I'm a complete idiot. Put me in charge of something!

Not much happened today at school, but I do need to vent about our IDIOT of a reading specialist. That woman makes me want to slap the living shit out of her every single fucking day!!!! Pardon me while I put soap in my own mouth....

The other day, she came to me and Dori to tell us that after this second round of DIBELS tests, she isn't going to come to our rooms anymore in the morning because one of the first grade teachers has a significant number of kids in intensive, so she's needed there. What a freakin' joke!! Oh, gee, I'm really broken up about the fact that she won't be coming to me 40 minutes late, only to sit at my back table (keeping ME from using my own damn table to work with babies!) and do NOTHING!!! I've never heard such good news! I don't know why the hell she bothered to even mention it to Dori, since she never goes to her damn room anyway!

This afternoon, she came to get her afternoon group, 10 minutes late, as usual. She was taking them upstairs to her room as we were walking back to our classroom. I'm watching this scatterbrained idiot take my two kids and three of Dori's up the stairs, and she has her head straight up her ass. Any teacher, hell any normal person, knows that you can't just walk ahead of 5 years-olds on the stairs without watching them. You stand at the bottom of the stairs and watch them walk up, they stop at the landing, you walk up, send them to the next landing, etc. This moron is walking up the stairs, paying absolutely NO attention to the kids, and I look up to see T.D. SLIDING ALL THE WAY DOWN THE FREAKIN' BANISTER!!! She didn't have a freakin' clue what the hell was happening behind her! IDIOT!!!! Naturally, I scream up the stairs, "T.D., I don't EVER want to see that again!! Get down here this instant and WALK back up those stairs!" The RI turns around, all ditzy, "What happened?" I wanted to punch her in the face! The other four kids were running and jumping around, as well. Exactly what you want babies doing as they walk up 25 cement steps, right? God forbid one of them falls next time and splits their head open. What the hell would she do? Ugh!!!!! She makes my blood boil!!!! I've GOT to change the subject because I can feel my blood pressure rising...

I got a new student today, and I have another coming tomorrow. We actually have triplets coming tomorrow. They're all girls. I feel terrible that we have to split them up. Two will go to Dori, and I'll only get one since I got the little boy today. I'm already sad for the one I'll get, since her two sisters get to stay together. Maybe we can figure out a way to keep them together. The new boy, T.B., is already in my doghouse. He's going to be a problem, I fear. I had to "talk" to him all day long. He's a fighter, it seems, and had a hard time keeping his hands to himself. We're going to have to nip this right in the bud. I meant to call his mom this afternoon, but we had the after school program, and I didn't get a chance. On a positive note, though, I tested him at rest time (which he was quiet for, by the way, yay!) and he did pretty well. At least he knows all his letters, and about half of his sounds.

It just started storming like hell outside. We've been under a storm watch for a couple of days. The weather man just said that this storm will be one of the top 5 biggest snowstorms since 1999. Yikes! We just got a foot of snow over the weekend! Actually, though, that's just about all melted because the last three days have been nearly 50, and it's been raining all day today. I wouldn't mind another day with only a handful of kids, so let it snow!!

Today's quotes is actually an email I received from another teacher today.
"If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 30 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs,and some of whom didn't want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist,without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher's job." ---Donald D. Quinn

Monday, February 4, 2008

Check these out...

Maybe you were like me, and you didn't watch the Super Bowl at all yesterday, not even for the commercials. Well, my favorite DJ over at the Lite (my buddy Melissa!) had this link on her page today. It'll let you watch every commercial that aired yesterday. So far, I've watched the ones from the 1st and 2nd quarter. Some really funny ones, but some duds, too. Enjoy!

http://sports.aol.com/nfl/superbowlads

I need a lighthouse!!

The weather here has just been absolutely bizarre!! Over the weekend we had over a foot of snow dumped on us (more in some areas!) and today it was nearly 50! Right around dismissal time this afternoon, the wierdest, thickest fog rolled in, and just got worse as the afternoon went on! I barely could see 2 car-lengths ahead of myself. We had eye doctor appointments right after school, and while driving there, I had to pass my old high school and the football field. It looked like a cloud just landed on the field! Driving home from the doctor's office was a bit rough because the fog was the thickest and it was dark, plus it didn't help AT ALL that I had to have my freakin' eyes dilated!! As I sit here typing, there's a scroll across my television screen saying that we have a "winter storm watch" in effect until tomorrow morning. Great!

I think that all of you should check out RABIJAY's blog today. I'll warn you now, the post may bring you down, but the story should be shared. I have nothing but respect and admiration for firefighters and paramedics, and the sacrifices they make everyday for the safety and well-being of others.

School was relatively uneventful today, which is NEVER a bad thing! I had a full crew today, after working with a skeleton crew last Friday. It was snowing like hell last night, so I thought we might have a repeat today, but no. One nice thing that happened today, though, is that the gym teacher was actually downstairs while my babies were eating lunch, and I was so bold as to ask him to stick around, then walk my class up to the gym with him. Thank God there are still some kids that respect their elders. He readily agreed, which meant I didn't have to haul my big butt up to the fourth floor!! Yay! Well, at least not to drop them off, but I did have to pick them up. I'm not complaining, trust me! I still have two days of art and one more day of gym that's going to require me to climb to the 3rd and 4th floors. :(

Oo, Dance Wars is about to start! Yes, I AM aware of the fact that I'm a loser. Nonetheless, I'm off to see which team has to eliminate a player tonight!

Dance is life. Stillness is Love. Together, they are everything. ---Debbie Nargi Brown

Saturday, February 2, 2008

How in the world...

...did I forget to post yesterday? Maybe it was the crazy day I had. Thursday night, Mother Nature dumped nearly a foot of snow on us, so Friday morning was not easy! Of course, CPS didn't get a snow day like nearly EVERYBODY else in Illinois, so I had to trudge my way to my son's school first. We crawled along for quite a while before finally getting there, nearly 20 minutes late for school. Oh well! Then coming up the side street from his school to turn back onto the main street, naturally I got stuck in the snow. Thankfully, it only took a few minutes of rocking to get out, and I just had to make a left turn from the right lane. There was nothing else I could do about it!

Next I was off to pick up my friend and his son. Since the side streets never get plowed, I called and told them they needed to walk out to the main street and wait at the train station for me. As I was creeping along on the main street, no one would let me over in the right lane! Idiots!! So, I had to drive right past the train station, to the light, and try to go around the block. Oh, great, I have to drive down a bunch of unplowed side streets now! Luckily, I was able to get myself unstuck a couple of times, and finally made it to the station, where I proceeded to slide into the curb, rather than parking gracefully. I actually was sure we were going to be stuck, since the curbs have the most snow thanks to the snow plows, but we were ok. I finally arrived at school at 8:45, making me late, but only about the 6th teacher there! I was in my car for an hour and a half, and my speedometer never went over 20 MPH. God, I LOVE Chicago in the winter!!

Truthfully, I don't mind driving in the snow. WAY back in high school, I had driver's ed second sememster, which meant this was exactly the time of year it was. The very first day we had to be "on the road" was the morning after a huge storm. Even bigger than the one we just had, actually. But, too bad, get in those cars youngsters, and drive!! During my class period alone, our class managed to take out 8 mailboxes in the neighborhood. Good time, good times! We had one day "on the road," two days "on the course," (basically a parking lot) and two days of classroom. So, we had to do a lot of driving in snow. I'm so thankful for that, because I've never had a problem with it. I've never been one of those people who freak out and are afraid to drive in the winter. The only thing that worried me is the rest of the morons on the road! Although right now, my biggest issue is my car. I may have whined about this in the past, but it's old now (11!) and in desperate need of new tires. I'm thinking I'm going to need to get a new car this spring (because there are other things wrong with it) so I don't want to spend the money on 4 new tires, just to get rid of the car in a few months. I think I need to look into maybe getting used tires. We'll see. But, my tire situation does make me a little nervous about driving in the snow. Luckily, it also forces me to be a more defensive driver, so it's keeping me out of trouble!

Oh, wait, wasn't I talking about school? The rest of the staff, the ones that showed up that is, arrived around 9 or a few minutes after. I had Dori's babies come into my room because she was going to be a few minutes late. She only had 7 babies show up, and I had 13. What a day! That's exactly why I didn't just say "F*ck it!" and call in sick. Why waste a sick day when only a handful of kids are going to show up anyway. The school was like a ghost town! It was GREAT!! It was so quiet all day. It was exactly the way the school should be on a DAILY BASIS!!! HELLO!! Of course, The Big Cheese wasn't there. We were told he was at a meeting, but I suspect the meeting was taking place at his house! Especially since his "special friend" (aka, the assistant that used to work here, that he's sleeping with!!) didn't have to work today. Hmmm....interesting, isn't it? That's only a theory, now, but quite plausible!

Well, the rest of the school day was a breeze, and so we started our trek home. I remembered, thankfully, as we were driving, that my son had a dentist appointment after school. He actually had an appointment last Friday, but I managed to forget all about it until they called 15 minutes after our appointment time to see what the deal was. Now, I'm trying to get home quickly, but safely, because I knew we'd have just enough time for him to run in the house, let the dog out, and brush his teeth. For some reason, what should have taken 5 minutes was approaching 15 minutes, so I had to start laying on the horn. Finally, he came back out, and we took off, all the while I'm bitching at him because now we're going to be late, traffic is so bad, the roads are so slippery, blah, blah. We get there, however, with about 10 minutes to spare. It may have had something to do with the fact that, in my yelling, I actually went the wrong way, and took an entirely new route to the dentist's office. It must have been quicker than the way we usually go. Sadly, I don't know if I'll even be able to remember what I did, since I was busy being Mean Mommy at the time!

We walk in to the office, I sign in, and sit down ready to catch up on the latest gossip in People and Us. The receptionist says, "Oh, you're a little early." "Well, yeah, after forgetting last week, I wanted to be sure we were here on time." But then I'm thinking, it's less than 10 minutes, it's a little wierd she would even say anything. So I say, "The appointment was for 4, right?" "No, 4:30." For Pete's sake!!! Another example of how Alzheimer's is creeping in. OK, it's really just old age, but if I give it a name, it makes me feel better. Needless to say, I was able to read 2 weeks of People and one Us by the time my son was finished.

On the way home, he wanted to stop at my parents' house to visit, so naturally that's what we did. We stayed long enough for him to eat dinner (he thinks he's so sly, but we're on to his tricks!) and then we started home. As we were leaving, his father called. Without airing our dirty laundry, we proceeded to have the biggest fight we've had in a decade. By the time my son left with his dad, all I wanted to do was lie down. So, I did! I ended up unintentionally blowing off my friends that I had plans with because I fell asleep. And, long story WAY longer, I didn't get around to posting.

Wow, this post had nothing to do with school anyway, did it? Sorry. But, I feel better having explained things. I suppose I should go out and shovel a bit, since I can't open my back door. I was able to open it just enough to let Buster out, but I don't think I could get out if I had to. My darling neighbor, at some point between going to and coming from the dentist, cleared my entire driveway for me. Sooo sweet! Did I mention he's 75!? All I have to do is enough to open the door, and here I'm sitting, typing this post! LOSER!! I am in the middle of baking him a cake, though, which is standard currency around here everytime he does something nice for me. Man, I could open a bakery for all the things I've baked him these past 13 years. He lives with his sister, who's 78, and they basically take care of my house. I call them my groundskeepers. He cuts my grass, trims my bushes and shovels/snowblows the snow. It's a bit embarrassing, actually. Especially now that my son is old enough to take on all those chores. So, for 13 years, I've been baking and cooking for them. They swear they love it, and that I'M the one who does too much! Ha! "You work, you're a single mother, it's too much!" I love when the sister says, "He's retired now, what else is he gonna do!" Um, how 'bout relax and enjoy retirement!? They surely are from a different generation. I really admire them both. And, they're both in 10 times better physical condition than I am, which is really sad.

Oo, the timer is about to buzz, so have a great weekend!!!
We make our friends; we make our enemies; but God makes our next door neighbor. ---Gilbert K. Chesterton