Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Performance review

Sometimes I suck at my job! (I felt this way when I was gainfully employed too sometimes).

Today was a lost day in the world of parenting.

Bad start: I couldn't get my kid to extra help this morning because I kept him out too late last night. I think he missed it last week, too. Did he even have breakfast? Did C?

Bad middle: I was at school during snack and N didn't have one and was hungry. How pathetic I am! I asked him why he didn't bring one himself this morning, but I know I should have packed it, just like good moms do. After all, he's only 9!

Bad end: Major soccer-carpool glitch. My fault? Not my fault? In the end it's always Mom's fault!!! Also, N went to a concert in dirty pants because I forgot to wash them.

Bad bedtime: C's cell phone is missing and Mom's magical "fix-it, find-it" ain't working.

Also - something was bothering N. He wouldn't tell me what. :-(

Finally: it's 10pm. My kids are still up - and have been up til 10 every night this week. WTF is wrong with my parenting skills?!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

How to make people NOT want to go to a BOE meeting...

1) Have a 10 page agenda (link below)

2) Add 228 pages of accompanying documents - is a "reorganization meeting" some kind of euphonium?

3) Have no direct mention of the failed budget (forgive me if I missed it). You'd think it'd be there as it's the biggest issue of the week. Is it a pink elephant?

4) Have the next two meetings be on the agenda for vote as "closed sessions". Sounds to me like "speak now or forever hold your peace!" Do they mean partially closed or entirely closed? This puts pressure on people to go and speak tonight, when there is more than enough to talk about. Do I have 4 hours to commit tonight?

I think I want to be like the pink (well, gray at least) elephant: in my living room!

Ellen is more tempting than this agenda! Jill, Cindy, Jeffrey and Evan or Cara, Ellen, Randy and Simon??? Even if they cut the music program (which isn't on tonight's agenda) our talented kiddies still have a chance to be on Idol.

(Image (of Ellen, not the pink elephant) from http://www.thefablife.com/files/2009/09/ellen-degeneres-american-idol.jpg - accessed 4/27/2010)

Monday Mom time???

Monday was very Monday (although not as bad as for one of my friends who found melted deodorant all over the floor after someone left the sauna door open).

As some of you know, I am taking a class at Raritan Valley Community College. It is just for my own enjoyment. What a geek - taking US History for fun? What am I? Nuts?

Well I would be if I could go. The class is once a week from 3pm-6pm and is only about 10 minutes from my house. N is in aftercare, C goes to TKD when i can get her a ride. But the last 3 classes I've had to miss because of commitments for my kids.

It shouldn't bother me - I have chosen to not work to manage them - but it does. It's expensive, but I like it.

I resent it a little bit when I've missed 3 classes in a row. The professor has a wife who apparently is a stay-at-home Mom too, but there is only so patient he can be. I can't help it that C got sent home with a fever one week, and I decided I needed to stay home to monitor how sick she was. I can't help that when I got a doctors appointment for a specialist that I had to wait several weeks to see, her first appointment was Monday at 2:45 in Hunterdon county. One class I just "skipped" (I can't remember why). I regularly leave early to make aftercare or to pick up a kid somewhere.

Yes, yesterday I could have made some of the class - the last 45 minutes or so, but I felt it would have been too disruptive and rude.

Now I wish I'd sucked it up and shown up - if only for a few minutes, since I didn't go because of my worry for others' feelings and not my own needs.

C asked me today what my life would be like if I hadn't ever had kids. It is hard to imagine, but I think there is one constant - I would still be putting others first. Not in the noble way: joining the Peace Corps, nor volunteering at a local shelter, but in the "you take your lunch now, I'll take mine later" (as my stomach growls). Or, "no dear, we can see the movie YOU want, I'll see this foreign flick another night". The passive woman way.

Haven't I learned anything from history???

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Rainy Sunday can't rain on my Saturday parade....

I'm still too proud over big N's achievement's yesterday to get bogged down in politics today. But this was brought to my attention. If you are a "political reader" of my blog, you can read my comment to get my opinion.

Otherwise I am still going to ignore the rain - at least until I have to sit in it at C's soccer game this afternoon - and basque in the knowledge that N met his biggest goal this year (since I can't basque in the sun). Even his sister beamed with pride. We are all still in the post-black belt happy state. Hopefully this increase in self-confidence will find its way to other parts of his life. The picture is from the start of yesterday's testing. The first of many many push-ups that N knocked out like nobody's business! More pictures once I download them. The camera is in my car, which is in the rain........

It's the perfect weather to curl up and knit.  Started a wedding gift for CM yesterday - don't really have a prayer to finish it by June 6th, but I'm gonna try. Need to make something warm and yummy for dinner on this chilly, rainy day. A soup? A stew? Hmmm....  Wegmans calls.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Proud Mom!

It is amazing what good results breed: Confidence. N was fantastic. Better than I could have ever hoped. He got a 94% and broke his boards on the first try. It was an amazing day. N has blossomed from this and I look forward to his future successes!!

TESTING DAY....

N is testing for his blackbelt this morning. My little boy is up for the challenge - but does he know that? As usually I have big big big complaints against the school:

1) They are making huge changes to how they do the black belt testing. Today's the trial run. Why does N always have to be in these situations. It is hard enough to do the test when you know what to expect.

2) They haven't practiced sparing in ANY class we have been to in the past 3 weeks. So he literally hasn't practiced Sparing in 3 weeks.

3) The final class he went to, they wasted time practicing some useless technique, that they might use sometime, but not at the black belt testing.

4) The school (as every school, every classroom, pretty much every teacher) plays favorites. This place does too - and one of the favorites is testing. Sometimes I get why a kid is favorite - but not this one. She is in the clique of Moms that won't even say hello to you in the grocery store. I might have blogged about these bitches before... when you sit several hours a week in the same waiting area of the TKD school, you at least smile and nod when you see another Mom/Dad at Wegmans!!!! Anyway - not good for N that this kid is testing at the same time.

But these are my nerves talking. N is a great kid and all the other kids are in the same boat. The other Moms (well, the ones who talk to me at least) are nervous too. N does have an advantage - he has been to lots and lots of tests before so he knows what to expect. Except for the big changes - venue, the large number of other children testing and the lack of practice on sparing - he may have an advantage!

These tests are tough. Tears are common - sometimes the kids crack under the pressure. I've seen at least one person run to the bathroom to puke. Last time a mother fainted and had to be taken away by ambulance!

Anything can happen!!! Fingers and toes crossed. Time to wake my boy!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Spring Break 25 years ago.... am I really THAT old?!?!

It was April 1985 in a sleepy town in western New York. But my life was anything but dull.

Our charismatic English Bulldog, Pickles died on Good Friday. We had been at my Aunt's home in Ohio (she died in 2009), and drove the 250 miles on Easter Sunday afternoon back to E-town. My father - who isn't the best at bringing bad tidings - stated frankly as we walked up our driveway, "Pickles is Dead! But we have more important things to worry about." I know I was already 14 years old and had heard more than my share of bad news, but that was harsh!

Dad was alluding to my dying brother. D had been in Italy with his wife and was rushed home (arriving in E-town the following afternoon) - we thought possibly to die - from Siena. "Dr. Sidiqi saved his life," my father claims because he was able to control some calcium level or something. D stayed in the hospital in E-town that week, surviving the odds, and went on to continue with experimental therapies not available in my hometown, but readily available at UC Berkley (they lived in SF). The cancer that he evaded him in April 1985, got him in December of the same year, but this trip in April 1985 was the last time I saw him.

Despite the loss of my first pet and the desperate illness of my brother, there were some happy moments that week. D had the nicest hospital room I'd ever seen. It was big - roomy, even - and was a corner room with big windows on two sides overlooking a park-like setting of newly green trees, grass and park benches. D's condition improved every day. When he was finally able to, the only thing D wanted to eat was a pizza. "I can't eat this shit!" he told my doting mom, trying to push some hospital slop. The manager at Moretti's recognized me. All he asked was "Pizza for Dino?" It was on the house. I guess that's how things go in Small Towns. D barely finished a slice, but it gave us hope that he was on the mends.

Later that week - maybe even later that night - I slept over at BFF MC's. We walked all the way to EM's house - maybe a couple of miles away - where we went to a senior's "party" (more like a few boys drinking and watching a movie sans parents). We were impressionable freshmen. I walked into the livingroom where they were sitting on his chocolate brown sofa, watching The Wall. Liking the music, but freaked out by the violent movie - I think it was during the scene where he shaved his eyebrows- I actually liked the walk back to MC's through E-towns quiet streets better than the party.

Little did I know then that the boy on the sofa, whom I'd just met, would later become my first boyfriend. If I hadn't met him, my life would have gone a completely different direction - so like it or not, I owe my current fate to that cute boy in glasses, who was mesmerized by the movie.

Isn't it ironic that the last time I saw my brother, was the first time I met such an important figure in my life?

That was the beginning of months of happiness mixed with devastating loss. Perhaps it was my first introduction to the most important lesson of my life: savor the great times and survive the bad. They sometimes come together. Like the sharing of bubblegum (see picture on left of BFF MC with boy from sofa) between friends, it's the little moments, good and bad, that shape your life.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What to say?

You know how I feel. I'm very disappointed about the failed budget. We lost by some 170 votes.

I am trying to find optimism. I posted this on FB a few weeks ago - maybe here too? I like the very controversial Bill Maher.

"It doesn't matter what teachers do. (...) What matters is what PARENTS do. The number one predictor of a child's academic success is parental involvement. It doesn't even matter if your child goes to private or public school. (...) It's been proven that just having books in the house makes a huge difference in the child's development." (Bill Maher).

That's the silver lining. We have plenty of books in the house and we certainly are involved. So even if the schools fall apart completely my kids have something indicating that they will still get into college and live fruitful lives:

the values at home.

But I am allowed to be bummed. Already everyone is blaming everyone else. As I said before, people vote no for many reasons.

I've been hoping for congeniality after the election. That's also learned in the home - but unlike with books, maybe my house isn't the best place for kids to learn by example??????

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Election day - April 2010

I voted at my son's primary school. I was glad to see a strong turnout, as it usually correlates with a yes vote.

Most of the day I've thought about the vote, and it's ramifications, but for an hour today I sat with my friend. She has advanced cancer and has had a rough week. We sat and talked on her porch, which overlooks beautifully green trees as far as the eye can see.

I came home remembering that the vote doesn't matter.


Love does. Hope matters. Trees do too.

Five years from now I won't remember this election. I will, however, remember the hour we spent on the porch overlooking our beautiful green acres.

Monday, April 19, 2010

'twas the night before the vote...

Normally the night before the vote it is a no-brainer. I have kids in Bridgewater schools, ergo I vote yes!


And the fact that 101.5 wants everyone to vote no should make me vote yes without any further thought.

I pretty much always vote yes for our school's budget. Even when slightly conflicted.

But this year is different. The weeks leading up to tomorrow's vote have been emotional ones full of political rhetoric and strained friendships, the likes of which I wouldn't have expected on September 1st, 2009. I used to feel like even if I had very different political opinions from the people around me, that there was a mutual respect. For some reason this year's fight has me believing that something fundamental has changed.


I am tempted to vote NO!

Now why would I do that? I know that my kids' education will be directly and immediately diminished if the budget gets shot down.  Tier IV cuts? I can't remember what was on that list, I just know I don't want to be around if they are implemented.

I'm still tempted. My no would mean something different from the fiscally conservative no-voter's vote. Mine would be a protest. I'd be protesting:
  • The animosity shown to me when I spoke my mind at a BOE meeting at JFK. I'll never forgot how mad teachers were. Some of them are still not talking to me! I got a weird look from N's principal today, I didn't like that either!
  • The poor negotiation skills of the BOE. I wasn't impressed at all!!!
  • A message to the BREA (and the other unions) that the townspeople think their 1.5% payment toward their healthcare is nothing compared to what could be done to reign in costs in a time of financial crisis. They clearly showed how out of touch they are with the rest of the community. Many on a private level were willing to take a cut, but their voices haven't been heard.
  • The cuts still include too many academic areas while the extra-curriculars got off too easy.
  • The BOE President complained that he had too many people e-mailing him. Cry me a river! He sounds like he really didn't want to hear from his constituents. And all he had to do was copy and paste the following: "Thank you for contacting me. Although I cannot respond to your individual e-mail, I would like you to know I am taking your opinion under advisement. Please express your view at the next BOE meeting. Thank you," It took me 10 seconds to type that once.
  • The Superintendent's annoying e-mails over the past few weeks also make me want to vote no, just because he is bugging me...
Of course, then the Governor could claim a Pyrrhic victory. Almost reason alone to vote YES!
 
Don't worry, public school Soccer Moms vote yes on their schools' budgets. And anyway, I doubt that the Superintendent would get the message right if I voted no.... he's not always the best at interpreting my opinions.

Nurse just called - C is sick. She suggested I have her tonsils looked at. One of THOSE weeks, I guess.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What's going on?

 
I never studied what was euphemistically called "Earth Science". I think it is the only time in my 13 years of public school that my parents called and asked the school to "make an exception" and put me in the advanced sciences program, where as a Freshman I took Biology. "Geology is not real science," he claimed. I think they harbored hope that I would follow in the medical footsteps as family tradition held.... I think they're over it now.

But, today for the second time in my life (the first was when I worked for an oil company) I wish I'd had a bit more geology!

I feel a little insecure about our planet! Yesterday there was another major earthquake in China, some 12 hours' drive from the provincial capital - following soon after huge quakes in Mexico, Chile and, of course, Haiti. A family friend's flight was canceled - along with hundreds of others throughout northern Europe - because of the erupting volcano in Iceland. A few weeks ago even Far Hills, NJ had minor earthquakes.

Anyone else feeling this insecure about our planet? Could "the big one" happen here????!!!!


(Image from BT.no)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A kinder, gentler time?

I showed my face at my son's school today. I'd been avoiding it like the plague after some teachers were less than happy with my suggestion that everyone take a pay freeze a few weeks ago. I've been in the building, but only when necessary. This morning I talked at length with one teacher about stuff in general and one thing specifically:

The world is too polarized these days. It seems much worse than before. We agreed: people need to take a step back and take a deep breath. 

It seems to be permeating all aspects of life. Everyone is fighting for their own interests: an upcoming fight on the new Supreme Court nominee, my son arguing that it has to be a BROWN bag, not a plastic bag holding his lunch this morning, my flat refusal to attend a dinner my Dad wants me to go to on Saturday night. Salary negotiations. Near daily disagreements with my daughter over everything that is vital in a 12 year old's world. The ongoing arguments between a husband and a wife. And, of course, the upcoming NJ school budget vote, the upcoming debate over the Governor's budget - and way off a year from now, the BREA teacher's contract negotiation, which is already being discussed.  I'm sick of thinking about all of it.


What I really want is a day of peace. A month of peace. To turn of the news - this morning of yet another 6.9 quake, this time in China, the death of the Polish President and some 90 others this weekend in Russia, and the worst allergy season in years....  Should I turn off the computer? Change the radio station to music and only watch sit-coms on TV? Tempting indeed!

I'd love to just sit by this lake and feed those ducks. But, alas, yesterday's dinner still sits on the kitchen table. Duty calls.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

One track mind?

No, I don't have a one track mind. My mind is often on 10 things at the same time. Right now, for example, I am making dinner, helping N with homework, chatting with a friend on FB and blogging. I am also thinking about where I will put all the crap on the kitchen table when it's time to eat, wondering about the dog's not-so-good tummy and thinking about a former co-worker. I'm also planning timing so we make it to Tae Kwan Do tonight - hopefully on time.

At times I am also thinking about the school's upcoming budget vote. I'm on the Superintendent's "key communicators" list - which is just a fancy name for an e-mailing list. Usually it is useful information. Lately I feel like these mails have come straight from "Spin City".  Here is an example from this week:

April 12, 2010



Dear Key Communicators,



Budget Topic of the Day:  Is Reading Recovery being eliminated and if so, how will the needs of struggling readers be met?

This may be the topic that is most misunderstood right now.  People seem to think that the district is eliminating or severely reducing its ability to help struggling learners.  This is not true.



The bottom line is that the district currently has 48.5 teachers, K-12, employed to work with students struggling in reading and/or math – in many districts this is known as their Basic Skills program, and is required by State Code.  Our program is called, Response to Intervention, and it is comprised of Reading Recovery teachers and Intervention Specialists.  There are 17.5 Reading Recovery teachers and they follow a proprietary, trademarked model out of NYU that has strict guidelines for training, staffing, and method of instruction, and requires a one-to-one teacher to student ratio.  It’s a good program and gets good results.  But because of the one-to-one tutoring ratio, it is expensive.  So, the district decided to cut 6.5 Reading Recovery teachers and convert the remaining RR teachers to Intervention Specialists (IS).  Many of them will continue to provide reading and writing intervention, as well as math, to struggling learners in the district.  They will be able to utilize their Reading Recovery training, and they will have the flexibility to use other strategies such as multi-sensory teaching strategies (Orton-Gilingham techniques, Sonday System, Wilson Reading strategies) and other alternative teaching strategies.  Therefore, we will still have 46 IS teachers, and since they only adhere to district standards and procedures, they will be able to work with the same total number of  struggling learners, but instead, in small group (1:5 ratio) settings. 



So the misconception that all Reading Recovery teachers and all services for struggling learners are being eliminated is just not true.  We believe that with this new model, we will be able to service the same number of students as previously taught.  This is another example of the district doing more with less.



A full FAQ document can be found in the district website under Budget.  Thank you for your support and please remember to vote on April 20th.



Sincerely,

Michael Schilder

Superintendent


Don't you find this very one-sided? If anything I would have wanted to EXPAND this program since it works so very well. He also didn't mention something that a teacher confirmed at a recent BOE meeting: that Reading Recovery is a REVENUE source for the district since we get paid to mentor/train other teachers. We always said "if only N could read a bit worse he would qualify". Just as people sometimes have AI-envy, I used to have Reading Recovery envy. Cutting Reading Recovery is extremely short sighted!

A few years ago I was at the BOE meeting where the current Intervention Specialist program was presented as a program to target kids who were "at risk" but now quite the weakest learners who could qualify for other assistance. What about the lost opportunity for these kids now that the IS teachers will have to help those kids who would have been in Reading Recovery? Why is it always the lowest end of the middle of the bell curve that always gets the shaft?

This series of e-mails has been very one-sided. Nowhere does the Superintendent mention any other opinion than his own. Unless you can read between the lines in his "questions" you really have to guess what the other options/options are. While I get he is trying to promote certain things in order to support the budget, he isn't a leading a district of 9 BOE members but all the entire district, and its imployees. He isn't a politically elected official! He is the Superintendent of the schools and as such he should, in my humble opinion (and it's MY blog) at a minimum acknowledge that his "budget information" isn't just fact, or if they are, they can be incomplete!

There are a lot of people like me out there. People who can see both sides of the story and still come to an opinion after looking at all the facts. So far, he's written about the following:
  • tax levy and tax impact (followed by a 2nd e-blast addressing follow-up questions)
  • what's in the budget and what's been cut
  • the role and number of administrators 
  • the cost of AI (I'm so sick of hearing about the debate on AI - I didn't bother to read it)
  • reading recovery
  • Why haven’t middle school and high school athletics, band, orchestra, and other co-curricular activities been cut or reduced?  And why can’t we launch a Pay-to-Play program?
 I thought that the BOE had decided to implement Pay-to-Play! I feel out of the loop!

Anyway, this song keeps going through my mind. I always like to include a blogtrack!

OK, Mike - take it from my favorite PBS kids! There are always two sides of the story! Losing Reading Recovery is bad for the district...you can be honest with us! We're adults. We can take it!

***
This is an updated version of today's posting. Did you hear me gasp when I saw that I published the post before I finished editing?  I hope the bugs are out of the system. Along with being able to say that there are various sides to an issue, I also can admit when I've made a mistake!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A liberal business education?

I have a liberal arts background. You can probably tell. Even if you know nothing about me, you can see it, solely based on how I write this blog. While it hasn't always served me well professionally, I like who I am: the well-rounded me.

Someone sent me this Newsweek article today called "The Death of Liberal Arts". It made my liberal arts heart sad.

While I have always felt at a loss in matters of business, I have never felt at a loss for words or their synonyms. Today would have been a good example of this.

I was recently offered some freelance work at a certain pre-determined rate. Today I spent half the day re-negotiating the salary with another department. They literally offered 1/2 or my originally offered rate. It was a "right had doesn't know what the left had is doing" misundertanding between two departments, none-the-less, my new supervisor wanted to "split the difference". With my knickers in a twist, I wrote a direct, but polite, thanks but no thanks.

Managing this took a bit of both: a professional school's business sense that your core value is your monetary value mixed with the linguistic finesse taught intrinsically in lit classes across the country. Too much business with too little of that "liberal arts stuff" and I would have burned a bridge unnecessarily. Not enough gumption and I would have done this job but at way too little money and spent the next few weeks resentful.

I like the knowledge that I am worth at least a fair rate. I dislike the fact that it physically pains me to have to fight for it. When I was composing these e-mails I retreated into my insecurities. Now that I am getting the originally offered rate (the higher one) I am not feeling bad about accepting, but I am determined to give my best.

Isn't that the most sought after outcome? Why are these things so difficult? Because they require two seemingly dissimilar properties. Glad I could pull it together for an e-mail that made all the difference. By the way, without my liberal arts background, I couldn't have done the job - which required editing skills!

(NB: My editing skills have been rented for the week, so this blog gets published without their use. My apologies for any inconvenience....)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Unmotivated

In less than 4 months I'll be 40. My goal for weeks and years has been to reach my "ideal" weight - which for me means what I weighed before I had kids. A doctor may say that's it's less than that or not, but this is my blog, and my body, and my goal! Pre-C weight is it!

The problem is laziness and low effort on my part. I was only 6 pounds from my goal a few years ago. Now I am about 20 pounds away (save a pound or two I've been stable at my weight for about a year).

So why then, when I know the gym has a class that I like to take at noon am I sitting on my duff in the kitchen 25 minutes before it starts, still in my PJs? How come I am not outside taking the dog for a run or a walk? I now have 2 weddings to go to in the near future. Why am I not typing and stepping at the same time? And what did I eat for breakfast?

I spoke to my favorite bride-to-be today (yes, I mean my big sister) who asked why I'm not in publishing professionally - since she loves my Christmas cards every single year. I mumbled a lame excuse. It's the same with these last 20 pounds. Why not? No good answer there, either!

I can do this. It isn't a complicated thing! I even bought lots of new workout clothes when MIL was here last week.

But then again, let's face it... I'm a lot like the guy in blue in this video... food usually looks too good, no matter what form it takes! Off to Exerwise... wish me luck!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happiness via the USPS...

When I grew up I had 3 sisters. Two bigger, one younger. The younger sister is my biological sister. The two others were our neighbors and my babysitters and I loved them like they were true sisters. When I got married - I got ready for the wedding at their house because they were my family too - and they always knew what to say and do. In fact they gave me a nice shot of liquor just before I left for the church.

Last August I contacted one of them and said I really missed them and wanted to see them - even giving dates, but never followed through. I feel very guilty about this. I never heard back from her, and the longer time went on, the longer I felt that I had done something wrong, so I retreated and didn't call her. Dumb move - because I know that she would understand... I just got busy, then the week passed and I realized I saw on my calendar "New Hampshire" written in pencil with a question mark. I sent Christmas cards as I always do, but I never wrote the "I'm sorry I didn't come see you....."

Then today I got something in the mail. Something totally unexpected. An envelope HANDWRITTEN ... and it literally said Ms. POPPET (and my last names). Only two people beyond my elderly Aunts and Uncles call me Poppet... and this came from one of them. A wedding invitation.

I'm so happy to hear CM is remarrying. I know nothing about her fiance and I don't care. I am just so happy for my big sister... the person who I went to no matter what growing up. The person who knew things weren't always hunkey-dorey at 501 Pinewoods... but she loved me all the same. The person who bestowed upon me the same love you bestow upon a sister. Cortla is getting hitched. Long ago she did, too. I flew across the country to be there because she holds such a special place in my heart (and because I think my parents sprang for the airline ticket. :-) I wrote a special poem then. I'll have to do something just as nice this time. Won't be a poem - but it will be something special. Suggestions always welcome.

I'll get to see all my loved ones... I can't wait!!!

Click on this link, CM. It's just for you!!! Thanks, CM, for watching all that Sesame Street with me and loving me just the way I am.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Oh Lamb of Bridgewater...

My son is in tears.
Last week my daughter was in tears.
Today I am fighting them off.

All over silly mistakes.

Last week, just as my in-laws were arriving at Newark my daughter asked if she could have some lemonade. She accidentally spilled it all over the fridge - sticky stuff on every half-eaten salsa jar, every cold cut package, every everything. I completely lost it. Tears, screaming and verbal abuse... not a pretty scene. We cleaned it up, together (no, it wasn't some Kodak moment, either), and a week later you wouldn't know it ever had been that clean (or that dirty).

Fast forward to Easter morning. My son didn't want to get up. Not even to search for treats from the Easter Bunny. We eventually coaxed him into the hunt and he had a good time, but the bad mood stayed on all day. 'nuf said!

Then just as I was showing off the beautiful leg of lamb dinner to MIL, I bumped it into the over door and promptly dropped the whole thing - all done, just waiting for the potatoes to finish up - all over the floor! Gravy everywhere (de ja vu to the lemonade scene). Instead of verbally beating up my daughter, I had to hold back the tears while I beat myself up and said "XYorZ would never do this!"

I did what you are never ever supposed to do. I put it back into the dish and threw it into the oven praying that there was no dog hair and that my husband wouldn't notice. He'd say something. MIL was there and saw the whole thing - I thought for sure she'd freak, but she didn't!

But no one noticed (or at least screamed "EEEW HAIR!") and I got praise both for the food and its presentation.

Happy Easter everyone!

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona nobis pacem.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Allergic to MIL???

I have been suffering from allergies for the last two weeks - the sniffling and sneezing kind. This morning took the cake, however, when a stomach bug took over my body. Yuck! We had spent last night in the Poconos at our friends' house. I skipped breakfast and the water park. Still queasy, T cleaned up and packed the car and I helped a little bit. I sucked it up, kept the windows open and drove home. Now the troops are heading to Hibachi. Totally not appetizing!!!! My mother-in-law teased that I'm actually allergic to her, since the last time my stomach went ape-shit was at their house this Christmas. Usually I have the stomach of steel. Two stomach bugs in 4 months is rare for me.

I've been thinking about this: how come it takes a stomach bug to get me to spend the day in bed with a book? How come when men are sick they just say no, close the door and let the world operate without them? We women tend to say a wishy-washy MAYBE and finish what we started as soon as we can lift our heads off the pillow (or the bathroom floor). Case and point: I don't feel like unpacking the car, but I'm going to do it anyway. Then I'm going to put away the clean clothes piled on my bed.

Everyone else is at the restaurant. If I don't do it, it won't get done... and if I've learned anything in today's blog it is that women should spend more time in their beds. :-)