Sunday, February 22, 2009

Up at the office, plugging for Swagbucks

Eli had some work to do, and the computer went kaput, so we're up at his office. I'm surfing the Internet, not thinking about what I *should* be doing at home. And I wanted to make one last plug (this month) for Swagbucks.

You see, I'm almost to my second giftcard. Only 16 swagbucks away. My impetus here is to get as many swagbucks as I can so that I can purchase things from my baby registry that we still need after Baby Beaver is born (or Baby No-Name, as my preacher's wife referred to her today).

As I said before, I downloaded the toolbar to my school computer and when I'm looking for ideas for lesson plans, etcetera, I plug my query into the search box. I have now won swagbucks more than once a day, so that's how I've gotten so many so quickly. I was glad there wasn't really a limit to that. Look, I know it's no Google, but it is free money. :)

Help me buy FREE stuff for Baby Beaver, because if you sign up with my link, they'll match your points for me, up to the first 100 that you earn. That's a free baby gift right there! That would be very kind of you. :)

Okay, I'm done groveling. Time to go home. G'night.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Why not?

We've been having computer problems lately, so if I go AWOB again, that's why. Darn technology.

Before I go, a moment of disbelief: Mr. Social Studies teacher showed not one, but TWO movies during this 4-day work week--when he pulled out the DVD player on Tuesday, he noticed me watching and told me, "Don't judge me." I laughed at his guilty conscience. They're still studying Japan (remember Kung Fu Panda?) so he showed The Last Samurai early in the week, and on Friday he showed...2 Fast 2 Furious? Really? I mean, isn't there a third one in the series that he could better argue fits into his curriculum...what was that one? Tokyo Drift? Yeah. That one. What a perfectly missed opportunity to be lazy AND vaguely relevant.

And one last thing: The movie Eagle Eye in science class, anyone? I had never seen it, so I borrowed it, brought it home and watched it. A couple of F-bombs, a whole lot of dung references, and some references to donkeys' rectal areas. Public school in rural Alabama, ladies and gentlemen. Nothing the kids haven't heard before, I'm sure...

The truth is, I'm not really upset with the teachers who are doing this. I mean, when Eli was coaching soccer he even told his team that if the refs weren't calling some things (such as elbowing, etc) that they should go ahead and do it until it started to get called. I think my fellow teachers are operating under this premise on the school playing field. I mean, why not?

Why not, indeed.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Shop Smart, Shop S-Mart

I fear that I'm wasting my night. Eli's friend brought over all the Bruce Campbell movies (Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, and Army of Darkness), and Eli's making me watch the latterest. This all started when he came home and I was watching an episode of Burn Notice. He said that anything that has Bruce Campbell has to be good. I said, "Who?" So, I guess I brought this on myself.

Also, I wanted to include a quote from my principal that another teacher shared with me. "I won't get on to you for not teaching, so long as the kids are quiet." That was the first piece of advice that Mr. Principal gave my fellow teacher when he started three years ago. Fellow teacher thought he heard Mr. Principal wrong. But, Mr. Principal repeated it to him on the first day of school that year. I guess movies keep them quiet.

Anyway, two more days this week. I think I can; I think I can.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Drama magnet

I'm ready to take maternity leave.

Today I had a girl in my class collapse, having a full-blown anxiety attack. When the nurse came down, and she realized that it was my class...again...she said, "Bless your heart." Thanks.

That's all I have to report tonight. I didn't sleep well last night, so I'm going to bed pretty much right now.


Monday, February 16, 2009


I'm going to chalk your silence up to the long weekend. Once you've read my previous post, I'm sure you will feel just the right amount of outrage and I will be appeased. Thank you in advance.

So, turns out that hard labor is out when it comes to pregnancy. And when I say hard, I'm only referring to scrubbing the tub. Won't be doing that again for a while (though I can't remember the last time it was done anyway). Last night I finally got fed up (with dirt and apathy) and cleaned our bathroom, top to bottom. I even laundered the vinyl shower curtain. And then I had a little emotional breakdown. I'm going to blame the hormones and other things that I was crying over a shower curtain miscommunication. Oh, and now I'm a little sore from leaning over the tub.

A long time ago I, borrowed...a book from my mom called Mary Ellen's Clean House (Yes, Mom, that's where it went). It's an excellent cleaning reference, and when we lived in Tuscaloosa and purchased our first washing machine I looked up how to clean shower curtains. Essentially, you machine wash the curtain with half detergent and half baking soda, throwing in a couple of bath towels for agitation. Then you let it spin just long enough to drain the water from the basin and skip forward to the rinse cycle and toss in a half cup of vinegar into the rinse water. And then you take the curtain out before the final spin cycle and hang it back up without rinsing off the vinegar--clean! (Followed immediately by a load of towels to wash the vinegar out of the two tossed in.) I didn't realize that in all the times I have washed our shower curtains in this manner that Eli wasn't around.

Last night, Eli took the curtain out of the washer and took it into the bedroom in a bucket (so it wouldn't drip everywhere). He was gone for a while, and when he came back, I asked if he had hung it back up. Yup. Okay. So I finished what I was doing. A little while later I go back into the bedroom and hear that the bathroom fan is on. I go in there and am speechless. We had a little mis(non)communication. He had taken down the outer curtain (which I found later on the bed) and hung the vinyl curtain over the rod to dry. So, yes, half of it was dripping in the tub and half on the floor of the bathroom. I laughed because he had hung it up, just not as I had imagined. When asked about it, he said that he didn't want it to mildew against the cloth curtain. I explained to him about the tent effect--the vinyl curtain hangs inside the tub and the cloth curtain hangs outside so they won't touch much at all (which he knows, but I was just being overly didactic). And when they do, that's why you don't rinse the vinegar off when you take it out of the washer. His response: "Oh." He had rinsed the vinegar from the curtain in the tub. So, I went back into the bathroom and hung the curtains back up on the hooks. I was laughing to myself, and then I was sorta crying, and then I don't know. It started a series of mood swings that poor Eli had to endure for the evening. (I love you, honey!)

On to today, though. We woke up this morning and somehow got on the topic of the baby shower that some of the women at church want to throw for us. Eli observed that we need to register, and we should do it today while we have time. Bingo. I was waiting for it to be his suggestion so that he wouldn't drag his feet. So we went to Target and started a registry (and got a free $20 gift card for doing so with a coupon I got in the mail!). We walked the baby section, and after a while Eli said, "I don't know what half this stuff is." I laughed. To be expected. I had to explain the multi-purpose use of a Boppy pillow. But, once his eyes glazed over, I excused him to the Books/DVD/Music section of the store that was right across the aisle and did some scanning here and there. But, the truth is...I have no idea what we need. Our transitory nature also keeps us from knowing what is necessary.

Now, we do know that we need a car seat (Eli's job to do research), a stroller (possibly in a travel system), and a crib of some sort. Those are all big ticket items that we'll have to save for over the next three months. I went ahead and registered for a very basic Pack N Play, because I foresee some extensive travel in the next year or so, but I also registered online when I got home for a cradle, which I know can be purchases elsewhere for cheaper.

Eli said, "Watch. We'll get all this cute, frilly, pink stuff from people, and she will turn out to be a he." Roll with the punches.

So, not that this is a plug or anything, but we are currently registered at Target and Some of the items appear in both places, but all can pretty much be purchased through Amazon. That's why I like that site. :) Okay, back to cleaning.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Priorities, people!

I've been AWOB (absent without blogging) for a couple of days. The last time we saw each other, I was talking about the fight that broke out in my classroom at the end of the day on Wednesday. Well, it gets better.

Thursday was my day in the computer lab. And if you recall, taking my students to the computer is an absolute chore. My first period class didn't get to stay because they couldn't keep their mouths shut. While I was in the lab with second period, the janitor came in and moved all the furniture the way my principal told him, which included taking out all the tables and stacking my textbooks into one pile (where before, I had them split up into the separate classes). This also included removing my second computer, which is the only computer in my classroom that is hooked up to the ceiling-mounted LCD projector that we are required to use because the district paid for the technology. So, now I can't use it. Whatever. Not my fault.

And if that wasn't enough, I had a child "fall out" at the very beginning of my fifth period class and started having seizures, of which she had no history. They called the ambulance and took her away. She didn't regain full consciousness until they were in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. It was scary because there was nothing I could do to help her in the overall scheme of things. The nurse told me later that she, too, was freaked out. I started crying. Too much excitement in two days. In the meantime, the PE coaches took my class to the gym (their planning period) and I sat in the gym office getting a hold of myself and calming down. They sent the nurse down to take my blood pressure, and it was slightly elevated from what it was at my doctor's appointment, but still well within the normal range.

I thought seriously about taking the day off on Friday (hey, I deserved it!) but then I remembered that we were having a luncheon and I was the only one signed up to bring drinks, and that I would only have to teach 3 of my five classes since the afternoon was a basketball tournament. So, I went. And it was a good day.

Have I told you before how the other teachers on my hall try to undermine Fridays? They show movies every Friday. So, my students get to my class and are indignant that they have to do work, because, after all, it's Friday, and they're watching movies in every other class. It drives me INSANE! I've teased the other teachers about it (no, I can't spare a kid to help you during your planning period, Mr. History Teacher, because, unlike some people, we actually do work on Fridays--oh, and by the way, how do you justify showing Kung Fu Panda in your lesson plans?). And yesterday, I started talking to Ms. Science Teacher about what they were doing (I could see the TV/DVD cart at the front of the room) and she said that she just showed movies every Friday because it was just too hard to fight the kids. They didn't want to do anything on Fridays. Besides, it gave her time to finish her work for her online graduate class.

So, let me get this straight. We're at a Title I school which barely makes adequate yearly progress on state tests. Beyond that, though, the students don't want to think for themselves and want us to do the hard work for them. They still can't write in complete sentences or write in cursive. We only have 36 weeks in which to accomplish our state-mandated objectives for the year. You watch movies every Friday -- so, for 36 days, which in 5-day school weeks, comes out to...7 weeks and one day? I sure as heck won't be sending my child to school to watch movies for 7 weeks out of the school year. Especially movies that are in no way connected to the curriculum. It's criminal! But it's not regulated from the top. However, the ways the chairs in my classroom are arranged is micromanaged. Priorities, people???

And it's not just the 7th/8th grade teachers. If you recall, there is a door between my classroom and the library (closed and locked always, but still thin) and we can often hear the movies being played in the library. So, the kids don't have a regular library day to go check out books, but teachers will take them to watch Napolean Dynamite and Home Alone? Really???

My students ask when we'll ever have a Friday off or watch a movie, and my response is NEVER!!!! We have work to do.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Over Easy

Have I mentioned that I'm ready to take my maternity leave...for the rest of the year?

There was a fight in my classroom today, and I refused to get in the middle of it. Not just because I'm pregnant, but because it was a girl fight and girl fights are nasty business. It was one of those days that I wished we had a police officer on campus because those girls would have been arrested and dragged out of there.

Anyway, it's been an ongoing thing with these girls, pretty much in every class (spreading rumors, talking about each other, insulting each other, making each other cry). And they're best friends. There was absolutely nothing I could do to prevent this from happening. So you can imagine my dismay when the principal came in and insinuated in front of the class that this was my fault.

Why? Because my desks are too close together. Because there is talking in my classroom. Because there were too many kids going to the bathroom (really?). So he brought the janitor down to my classroom with him and told him how he needed to rearrange my furniture (for the third time this year) tomorrow. Then he told me that there is to be absolutely no talking whatsoever in my classroom again. This he says about my quietest, most well-behaved class (well, except for the girl drama). So we're not allowed to have discussions? The kids aren't allowed to ask questions? And the only reason so many children were going to the bathroom between the fight and when he came in was because the fight was so violent that they almost wet themselves with fright. What am I going to tell them--no, you have to wet yourself after that close call?

Anyway, I'm feeling a little indignant right now. I wish he'd quit micromanaging things.

But, on to better things. To make myself feel better, I went to Sonic during happy hour and got a small orange slush for 54 cents. Then I came home and cooked up two eggs over easy for an after school snack--and I didn't break the yolks. Okay, okay. One of the yolks broke, but only after it hit the plate. I haven't made eggs over easy in years. I just really wanted a breakfast burrito at Sonic, but didn't have the cash, so I decided I would at least eat some eggs when I came home.

Now Eli's on his way home, and he wants tuna melts for supper. We'll see about that. And he's having friends over to watch the soccer game tonight. I hope to finish my book. And maybe go to bed early. And do some laundry. But not in that order.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

False Alarm

I had to call the OB today to get my glucose test results. I evidently passed with "flying colors." I'm relieved, I guess. I should probably eat better anyway, but I would have HAD to had it turned out that I was diabetic. I should probably cut out the chocolate anyway since it gives me heartburn.

Speaking of which, JT (I guess you're JK now, aren't you?) said I should try pickle juice for heartburn. That was the first I had ever heard of doing that. I haven't tried it yet. Tonight at Sylvan, one of my students asked me if I was okay, I told him that I was having heartburn (he asked!) and he said, "You should drink pickle juice. It really works." This from an eleven-year-old. So, now, I have a combined 41 years of heartburn advice from JT and punk kid. I may just try it. :) Thanks for the tip.

Monday, February 9, 2009


I took the day off work and went to the lab to get my 3-hour glucose test done. I was the first one in the lab this morning, and yet, I was #2. Go figure. I had false hopes when the first thing the phlebotomist did was prick my finger with one of the diabetic blood sugar testers, but then she had to actually draw blood. It was painless. An hour later, I was not so lucky. She went into the same arm (left), but couldn't get a draw, so she had to go into the other arm. My left arm will now be bruised. The next two draws were okay, both out of the right arm. And then I was free to go.

I don't know when I will find out from the doctor what the results were, but I hope I will find out soon to put my mind at ease.

I came home and took a nap. A long nap. Now I'm not going to sleep so well tonight, especially since I have to go back to work tomorrow. :(

Saturday, February 7, 2009


We just got back from a walk. It was nice to just walk and talk with my husband--about babies and about his job prospects. And the thing is, I won't let anxiety creep in because I know that everything is going to work out, whatever happens. The Lord is faithful.

Now we're vegging and watching the Bud Shootout on TV. Hello NASCAR season!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Murphy is the antichrist

We went out last night and bought jumper cables and decided to wait until morning to jump the Saturn.

This morning at 5:45 a.m. we went out to jump start the Saturn, and Eli was going to drive it to Bible study. Eli was in his suit and I was just dressed warmly. It took 15 minutes because he left it up to me to hook up the dead battery and I didn't have it grounded right, though I told him before that I wasn't sure where to ground it. At one point, when the Saturn wouldn't start, I offered to drive him to Bible study, but the logistics were screwy. However, once we got the battery grounded right, the car started right up. So, Eli is ready to leave in the Saturn and I go to close the hood of the Subaru, but it won't close. Eli made fun of me, but then he came to try it, and it wouldn't close for him either. Did I mention that it was freezing out this morning? Well, the latch was frozen and wouldn't catch. So, we had to go back to plan B, where I would drive Eli to Bible study and he would bum a ride to work from the judge. Eli wasn't very happy now (to his credit, he was cold and frustrated) and he kept telling me that I need to remember to turn my lights off. By the time I left him at the coffee house, I was crying and miserable and felt like a failure. Because last night I didn't turn my headlights off yesterday. :( And this was all before 6:30 this morning.

By the time I got to school, I just wanted to go back home, climb into bed, and start this day over (and this time turn the headlights off).

Fortunately, the morning went okay. My seventh graders were on their game when writing persuasive letters. And then my eighth graders came. I've asked around, and it's not just me. They are heathen baboons this week. And it just got worse and worse. I'm amazed at how many of these children just don't care about being at school. Some days I wonder why I bother to show up. Except that there are a few that get it, and I can't abandon them. It's only really a handful that drive me crazy. Anyway, by the end of 5th period (my second to last class) I had some girls that were out of control. They were being extremely disrespectful to me, back talking, and finally mocking me as they left the classroom. I held it in as best as I could, but since I was having a bad day already (I was still blaming myself for the morning's fiasco) the self talk, "Don't cry, don't cry!", only made me need to cry. (Those girls were so mean!) And I would have been okay, except one of the students coming in to class asked me if I was okay, and then I lost it. How could they not care about cheating? How could they be so flippant about it? That's what this was about, after all.

Luckily the passing period was over and the only people in the hallway were other teachers and a sprinkling of students. The librarian went down to my class while the gym teacher ushered me into the teacher's lounge. Mr. Reed came in and started talking to me in a way that led me to believe that he thinks I'm out of touch with where my students are coming from, what they bring to school as baggage. I was a little insulted. However, he did go down and pull those girls out of class and lecture them in the hallway. I went back into my classroom, and then Mr. Reed came in and proceeded to tell me, in front of this new class, how I needed to be teaching my class, what I needed to be doing--as if I were inexperienced. I was mortified, but I put on an amused face as he told his jokes and made light of my situation. And then, AND THEN, he started telling me what Harry Wong would do. I WAS WONGED! At this point I was indignant. WONG? REALLY? Only another teacher could understand the insult here. Harry Wong's books are what they recommend to FIRST YEAR teachers! School was not over soon enough.

I went to Sylvan after school and Eli called, but since I was sitting at the table with students, I couldn't answer. I sent him a text message to let him know where I was and why I wasn't answering (discreetly, of course--we're not supposed to have our phones at the table). His response was "okay." As I neared the end of the night, I sent him another text message to see if he made it home. Negatory. So I would go pick him up when I was done--at 7 p.m. I started to feel really guilty about him being there--again this goes back to me not turning my lights off last night. Ugh. So, I called him when I got off work, and told him I was on my way, and he asked if I was going to Bible study. And I started crying...again. Geez. I decided that I wouldn't go, because at this point the floodgates had opened and if I went to Bible study, I was afraid we would talk about me and not focus on God. So I picked him up and we went home. I drove home and cried the whole way, telling him about how my day went after I saw him last, and about being Wonged. He suggested that I go to bed and start again tomorrow. I agreed.

So, now that I've gotten this all off my chest and I've stopped crying and feeling sorry for my seemingly incompetent, pregnancy-brained, hormone-ridden self, I'm going to bed. Except that Eli just turned to Splash! on TV. I haven't seen this movie in a long time. I may just veg out on the couch. But I think the calling of sleep and a fresh start is stronger than the pull of a young Tom Hanks and a crazy secretary who wears her brassiere on the outside of her clothes.

And, for the record, Eli sent me an e-mail when he got to work this morning apologizing for being cranky. I understood where he was coming from, though. I would have been pretty cranky too. But that's why he's my best friend and the love of my life.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Maybe it was a self-fulfilled prophecy, but I failed the glucose test today. It wasn't as bad as it could have been. The only really unpleasant part was that the nurse had to stick me in both arms before she could find a vein. Bleh.

So, Monday I have to take the day off of work and go sit for a 3-hour test. I have to fast all night, and then go in the morning where they will take my blood four times--once before I drink the goo, and every hour on the hour for 3 hours. I sure hope they're better at finding veins.

Eli just came in from unloading the last of his hunting stuff from the car, and I evidently left the headlights on. And he tried to turn it on, but it wouldn't start. So, this stinks. He has Bible Study in the morning. And I have to get to work. And I already gave Matt back his jumper cables. So, this will be an evening of problem solving, indeed.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Double Digits

As of today, I'm only double digit (99) days away from my due date! I can't believe time has really flown this quickly. I feel like I just called my family to share the news. It's already February! Where did that come from? I suspect that this happens from here on out. She's already walking, talking, going to kindergarten, wanting to get her ears pierced, getting her learner's permit, graduating, going to college, getting engaged, getting married, having children...and it will feel like she was just born. Isn't that how it goes? I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for the "blink and you missed it" moments. I'm also trying to prepare myself to lose my identity with my child for the next 20 some-odd years. It will be a long time before she cares anything about who I was before she came into the world. It's really not as depressing as it sounds, so long as I know it's coming.

I'm ready for it to be time for my maternity leave. I'm not going to make it to the first of May without some homicidal tendencies toward teenagers. I also feel like I'm not a very good teacher right now because I got thrown into this situation in October and have just picked up where the last teacher left off without sitting down to formulate my own plan. Why are we teaching the things we're teaching? What kind of student am I trying to mold? And now, it's getting more and more difficult to stand all day. So, I feel lazy on top of all that.

Anyway, I know I put a plug about Swagbucks in another post, but I'm already up to 40 swagbucks that I won--just me! That means I'm 5 swagbucks away from getting an gift card. It will go much faster, though, if you join because for the first 100 swagbucks you earn, I earn. That means that I've almost single-handedly earned my friend Misty an Amazon gift card, too. (You're welcome. No problem. Haha.)Being a book person, I am so ready for my gift card so that I can buy some of the things off of my ever-growing wish list.

Tomorrow is the next doctor's appointment, where they will test me for gestational diabetes. I will pass the test, but I have this sinking feeling that my sugar habits may just work against me... I'll let you know how it goes.


Monday, February 2, 2009

Groundhog Day

So, there will be six more weeks of winter. What else is new?

This morning, on the way to work, I saw some cows playing soccer. Or, at least that's what it looked like. They were circled up, "kicking the ball around", prodding with their noses and their hooves at this rolling black and white object , but that just turned out to be a very happy black & white puppy that was rolling around doing somersaults. Upon closer inspection, the cows seemed more bewildered and curious than competitive. It made me laugh, anyway.

I really need an extra day to recover from my weekend. Saturday's card party was fun. A few people called and canceled at the last moment. PW did bring some chairs, and no one had to sit on the floor. It was a very humbling experience because none of the people I had here are creative. Only two showed some promise: one was able to copy cards I had made, and the other was able to show a sense of refinement in her card-making style. The other five? Well...let's just say that I spent a lot of time running around helping solve problems and answer questions. I was able to make one card, but only after everyone left. I kept gathering materials at my spot getting ready to make my card, but when I would get back from helping someone with their problem/question, something from my stack was invariably missing. Not a problem. After three hours, I made my one card, and then cleaned up. I wish I had had a camera handy to take a picture of the huge mess we made!

And only one person failed to respect my property. That is, she was oblivious to the care, storage and conservation of items, even after I modeled several times. She pressed the stamps into the stamp pads so hard that now all the woodblocks for those stamps are stained on the corners. She took stamps out of their sets and put them in other containers when she was finished. She didn't clean the stamps off before she put them back, and I tried to go back and clean them all, but I missed a few that are now permanently pink-tinged. I kept reminding the girls that mistakes were okay, that every piece of card stock has two sides, and I still found a pile of shredded card stock by her seat when she left where she had used one side of the whole piece (for some reason she was folding them in half to make huge cards instead of using the pre-sized cards I gave her...) and then decided she didn't like it, so ripped it up. She left stamp pads sitting open for extended periods of time after she was done with them. And she would leave stamps sitting on the ink pads. Once, when Coco came out, I asked her to close the dormant stamp pad so that he wouldn't track red ink everywhere, so she took the stamp that was sitting on the pad off and set it directly on the table, and closed the pad. She didn't set the inked stamp on the gigantic piece of paper that was her work surface. No. She set it directly on the table. I swear. I now have a permanent red smudge on the wooden tabletop as a souvenir. ::sigh:: It was very painful for me to deal with all these situations in a loving, forgiving way, when I really just wanted to scream. It was also very humbling to see my up-until-now well-kept items being marred by carelessness. I would like to say that I won't invite her over for crafty stuff again, but it's too late for that already. She and her fiancee came over Sunday and we made more cards. I will say, however, that it was much easier to monitor her when there were just two of us than with eight other people around. Sheesh.

So, I've given you a hint as to what Sunday held. Eli decided that since the apartment was already clean (a selfish endeavor of mine, he said...haha) that he would invite people over to watch the Super Bowl. I had asked some of the wives if they were coming (discreetly, I thought) but they didn't think so, and that's how my crafting disaster friend found out that we were having people over, so I had to open up the invitation. And then one of the college girls I had invited to Saturday didn't come (though she had RSVPed) so after church on Sunday, I invited her over in the evening. She came and brought her boyfriend. So really, the whole crazy weekend thing is my own fault since it was my people and their respective entourages that came for the Super Bowl. If I had just kept my big mouth shut...

And I think that's it for now. I'm in the middle of a book and I really should go read. Cheers!