November 30, 2009
November 29, 2009
November 28, 2009
Today we decided to get our Christmas tree. We are super early this year (for us). Yesterday lights went up on the house, today we got the tree. It's a record for us. My trip out to the Midwest mid month is a major factor for getting motivated, but we are taking this lovely four day weekend to get a jump start on the season.
We had a great time. We love to visit a tree farm up Cougar Mountain. We go every year. We like to pick our tree, visit the log cabin gift shop, climb on the vintage firetruck, sit by the bonfire and this year we even sat on Santa's lap.
November 26, 2009
November 25, 2009
Soon after moving into our new house, we discovered a new toilet was desperately needed for the downstairs hall bathroom. We call it the "fancy" bathroom because of it's fabulous gold fixtures. (Just kidding...the gold fixtures are pretty ugly but we call it fancy just the same.) Anyway, Mr. Hawthorne didn't want to put in a new toilet before painting the walls. So a color was chosen and it is aptly named "silver lining".
As we added to our small family unit, our kids had ready made playmates at their disposal, so the need for getting together with other families for the sole purpose of play wasn't at the top of my priority list.
Now that the "big" kids are older and in kindergarten and second grade, they are making friends and asking for playdates. This is a huge obstacle for me. I don't want to deprive my children of playtime and great memories, it's just that I know very little about the friends' families and lifestyles. This fact makes me nervous. When the kids are away from me, they are away from my protective bubble. I think I am very good at looking relaxed and easy going, while all my feelers are at full attention and constantly monitoring my environment. I have a knack for observing situations and people without them knowing.
This past weekend, a friend of El Fuego's called to ask for a playdate that afternoon. Thinking on my feet, I asked if the friend could come to our house after school instead. The mom agreed and the boys were excited. All went well. I chatted with El Fuego's teacher about the arranging appointments for our children to play. She agreed with me that the world today is a scary place and parents have to be extra careful. And, how play time for kids is different from generations past.
Little by little, I meet parents and things click and my feelers relax. El Fuego's friend's visit yesterday was a good experience for all of us.
November 22, 2009
I would be working in the classroom of a long time kindergarten teacher who was diagnosed with cancer. My student teaching was in fourth grade, so I had little interaction with her but I knew who she was. The dynamics between us were interesting. She intimidated me slightly but I was looking forward to stepping into a world that I could gain more experience but not fly completely solo. Her personality was strong and I was treated like her personal assistant for the first few weeks. I didn't mind following her lead but, it was very well known that I was "the support staff" and NOT the main teacher. This annoyed me.
Shortly after the year began, she became very ill. She had surgery and treatments that left her too sick to work. The shift between our two roles had occurred. I was stepping into the teacher role and she was just not there. I was the person in class every day. The parents trusted me as their child's teacher. We had moved past the lesson plans she left for us, and I was told by the principal to move forward with the curriculum. This annoyed her.
Towards the end of the year, she made several attempts to step back into her role as teacher which proved to be futile. She spent most of her time in the bathroom being sick. The most she could muster up was correcting papers while I shuffled the kids here and there.
My main concern, always, was to create the most normal and less stressed environment for the class. I was their teacher, but not really, while their "real" teacher was never around proved to be a little confusing.....for all of us. The outcome of the situation was left vague. I expressed my concerns, to the principal, of the class and my role in the midst of it. She wasn't getting better and I was left to balance it all.
Behind the scenes and without my knowledge, the board and the principal had decided to fire her at the end of that year if she didn't step down on her own. It seemed to be obvious to everyone but her that she was too sick to teach. I was asked to stay on as kindergarten teacher. Her pride was wounded and she left bitter. I became hated. I had unintentionally stepped on her toes.
Months later, she passed away. The school staff and past students and families were invited to attend the funeral. I wavered about going. I didn't want to but felt I needed to step up, suck it up and show my respect. In the receiving line I met with her daughter and her husband, both old school mates of mine. Her daughter introduced me as the "person who took her mom's job". Just like that. I was stunned. She needed someone to be mad at and I fit the bill. I think in the moment she wanted to be as hurtful as the situation would allow her to be. I won't deny, however, she left me angry. Under the circumstances I continued to smile and said I was sorry; and I was. I was very sorry her mother died. I left soon after.
Life went on, and I had long since forgotten about my working self.
And then, Facebook was introduced to me.....
I have much love for Facebook. Finding people I have lost touch with is a blast. Keeping in touch with friends is even more fun, especially the long distant ones. I feel more connected to the people I hold dear than ever before. However, with every addition of a new face logging on, I face old memories which sometimes leaves me sort of feeling like I don't know how to feel. It's odd.
Growing up is a long, hard, fabulous journey. We bounce off each other like the game pinball. Knocking around, trying to find the right hole to fall into. Sometimes we are instantly put off, cracking against each other head on. Sometimes we rack up points going back to that one spot that feels just right and almost too easy. Along the way mistakes are made, stupid things are said and actions you wish could be taken back are made.
I keep telling myself the past is the past. Everyday is a new day. If people from my past are harboring grudges, well then there is nothing I can do to change their minds. I, myself, have been letting go of my own grudges. Softening my heart. I won't lie though. I'm a fierce protector of my heart. Once you've poked a hole, I don't forget and I keep my distance from you forever more. But in the end, who really cares. Life goes on full speed ahead. What really matters most are the people who matter most.....all the other people are just pinballs.
November 20, 2009
November 17, 2009
In other news...I bought a round trip airline ticket for one to visit my dearest friend in Michigan. I'm excited to see my peeps and enjoy some of the holiday festivities in the Midwest. I leave in just over three weeks. It's my goal to get everything in tip top shape and order before I fly off. We've made some major head way on unpacking the house and getting organized. However I still feel like we have a long way to go.
November 13, 2009
Anyway, I'm on the hunt for a shelf or two (if they are cheap aka: Target). We have loads of children's books. I love picture books and great stories for my kids and I currently have four boxes sitting on the top of the stairs waiting to be shelved. So that is my mission today. Along with folding the umpteenth piles of clothing. I do not like that chore one bit. One bit I tell you. If I could have a folding fairy and a unloading the dishwasher fairy come to my house every morning...I would be one happy person. Well, happy if the sleep fairy would come every night and ensure I would feel well rested all day long. Ohhhhh....one can dream!
The house is slowly getting unpacked. It takes so much time and energy. Between the kids and the dogs and my duties as "mom" I feel like I only get these tiny bursts of time to actually do anything house related. And when I do get those bits of moments, I'm just too friggin' tired to do anything. Hence, the lack of updated blog posts here. Sorry about that friends!!
November 6, 2009
November 4, 2009
In other words, I can not believe it is November already. This month is full of days off from school, teacher conferences and Thanksgiving. As I've mentioned before, it is my goal to have majority of the house unpacked by the holiday. However, at this very moment, it seems like that goal is a stretch.