Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Crafty Gal

One of my new year's resolutions was to spend some time being crafty. Since then I've had to make a concerted effort, but all's well.

I invited ladies over on Sunday to make cards and stuff, but...no one came. It was okay, though, because then I had a clean house and time to sit down and finish my thank you notes from my school shower. Unfortunately, I had baked 2 dozen chocolate chip cookies to share, but when I had no one with whom to share them, I ate about 16 over the course of the day. 15.75 if you don't count the part that Coco ran away with and scarfed down. I guess I could have shared more with Coco, but I can't help it if I'm stingy with my cookies. He's lucky he got away with the piece he did before I noticed.

Anywho, I had purchased some fabric to make some dresses for baby girl, and had the intent of making them with Ginger last Friday, but I hadn't expected her knowledge of sewing to be absolutely zero, so I had to come up with some other easy project to do--we made a baby blanket that has leg pockets in it...hard to describe, but it will be easy to use. Because of this setback, I decided that yesterday I would make my practice dress.

The front view:

And the back view:

The pattern I used was New Look 6576, but I thought the appliques looked stupid so I left them off. When I was done, there was something missing, so I added the grosgrain ribbon at the empire waist. The original pattern also called for buttons at the shoulders, but I'm going to put velcro there when I get around to it. This was mostly because I do not have a button hole foot, but even more so, I do not have a user's manual for my machine, so I wouldn't know how to do a button hole even if I had the foot. Velcro it is.

I'm still debating about whether or not I want to waste my time and make the headband. I'm also thinking about making a pair of bloomers from a different pattern and maybe a sun hat, but we'll see. This was, after all, just a practice dress, though I'm pleased with how it turned out. And when I say practice dress, I don't mean "poor quality," I just mean that it's how I figured out the ins and outs of the pattern. It's not perfect, but it is pretty good.

The intent for this pattern was to be able to make a sun dress for football season in the famous Alabama football houndstooth pattern, but I couldn't decide what size to make. How big will Baby Beaver be in September? My choices were Newborn (7-13 lbs), Small (13-18 lbs), Medium (18-21 lbs), and Large (21-24 lbs). The dress above is a medium. And I think it will be too big to be worn in September. So, I may give it to my friends who gave me all the baby clothes. I think their little girl will be able to wear it this summer since she's 8 months now.

I went out and bought the pattern again today so that I can make the houndstooth version in size small. While I was there, I picked up some cute green monkey fabric that was on sale for cheap ($1.50), so I may use that as my practice dress for the smaller size.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sewing Machine Envy

Two posts in one day--I know! It must be for something special! And indeed it was. But first, some backstory:

Sometime last week, for the first time, I stopped into this store that I have passed over and over again called the Opelika Sewing Center. I knew they offered sewing classes, so I thought I would look into that. And I knew that they sold sewing machines, so I was going to look into getting a button hole foot for my sewing machine. Imagine my surprise when I inquired about the foot and the saleswoman said, "I'm not really familiar with Singer machines." I thought she must be crazy, because aren't Singer machines the original sewing machine? But then I looked around and noticed that she wasn't familiar with Singer machines because they didn't even sell Singer machines! So strange. I picked up a flyer for classes and went home.

Then, another day, I was at Hobby Lobby getting my fabric and the woman in front of me in the long, slow checkout line started talking to me about sewing and the baby, and when she found out that I don't have a machine that embroiders she told me that she would embroider anything for me for free and gave me her number. I was talking about this with a friend at church, and one of the ladies that Eli works with (and we go to church with) overheard and asked me if I know how to smock. I told her that I don't but that I saw that the sewing center offered classes in smocking. She smiled and said she would teach me to do it for free, and that she actually taught the woman who now teaches the classes at the sewing center. So awesome!

Then, today was my sewing date with Ginger, teaching her how to sew. I went to her house ready to set up my sewing machine, but it turns out that she has a sewing machine that she doesn't know how to use...at all. She's had it for about two years. So, I spent seven hours over there with her teaching her how to use her sewing machine and just chatting. And this brings me to why I'm posting twice in one day.

Ginger's sewing machine was awesome! Write this down: Brother HE-120

I had to teach her how to use it by reading the instruction booklet because I've never used anything other than Singer. It was different, but amazing. Can I just start with the automatic needle threader? You put the spool of thread in a cartridge and thread the thread through it, where it has a cutter at the very end so you aren't left with any tail. Then you pop the cartridge into the machine and push it down and suddenly this mechanism opens up, grabs the thread and shoves it down and through the eye of the needle! It happened so fast the first time that I didn't know what happened but the needle was suddenly threaded with no licking the end of the thread and trying to thread the end in vain, only having to pull out the needle threader from my emergency sewing kit! It was magic! It's pretty awesome in slo-mo, too.

Next, let me talk about the bobbin. You pop it into the compartment (which is horizontal and not vertical), thread it through one little area, and then it also has a cutter so that the end is flush and disappears. You don't have to do anything else. You start sewing and all the threads are where they're supposed to be.

Also, there was a button that you pressed that cut the thread when you were done sewing, so that the thread would be exactly perfect to start the next time. Instead of the wheel to lower and lift the needle, there's a button to push (though the foot is still lifted manually). It was so quiet--made my machine sound like a diesel. This was the luxury car of sewing machines. I wanted to cry with joy every time that needle was threaded automatically and when I didn't have to fish for the bobbin thread. It was glorious.

Did I mention that it also does embroidery? The last two hours I was there we were playing with the embroidery functions. The machine is run by an LCD touch-screen for both the regular and the embroidery functions. Fun.

So, in all, this machine was AMAZING, and very worthy of a second post today.

Oh, yeah. And now Ginger knows all the basics of sewing using her machine.

Be All You Can Be---Just not in the Army

The army posted their list earlier than their May 1 date, and by all indications, Eli was not selected. He's not received any official notification, but omission is really enough. So, he leaves after work today to interview with the Coast Guard in New Orleans on Monday. He has also started pursuing other leads, federal clerkships and whatnot. We're open for global mobilization, so don't be surprised if we end up in Alaska, Iowa, Puerto Rico, Timbuktu, or some other interesting place.

Eli is a little discouraged...again...by the outcome of his Army application, so if you would continue to lift him up in your prayers. Also, I'm alone for the weekend -- until Eli gets back on Tuesday -- so I hope that I don't go into labor while Eli is six hours away!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thursday, already?

It's been kinda' nice having nothing that I have to do. I've been working some hours at Sylvan in the evenings, but mostly just hanging around the house catching up on episodes of Las Vegas. Yesterday I was feeling especially industrious, so I went and had the Subaru detailed on the cheap and ran errands. The television in my house didn't turn on until Eli turned it on when he got home from washing sleeping bags in the high capacity washers at the laundromat. And then it was only on for the 9th inning of the Braves game.

I'm not officially nesting yet, but I think I'm going to try to jump-start the instinct. There's a lot to be done. TODAY is the day that hospital bag gets packed (thanks JT for the little encouragement I needed to just GET IT DONE!). And today I will wash all the baby clothes that our friends, the Burds, gave me--3 trash bags full--and sort them into bins based on size. After that, I'll make an estimation as to what needs to be returned to Target and Wal-Mart. Some of the clothes they gave us still have the tags on them, which leads me to believe that babies grow very quickly, and that perhaps we'll need diapers more than we'll need new onesies. We'll see...

In another sweet turn of events, I posted a comment on the Sips N Strokes facebook page wanting to know about grand opening information for the store that is coming to Auburn, and the franchise owner sent me a message telling me the finalized location (2-minutes from my apartment, same street, no joke) and the basics on the grand opening (May 20). In addition, she offered to give me a free painting class at the new location in the first weeks that it's opened. Isn't that awesome?!

Now, the only challenge is determining when this baby will come! Early? Late? On time? Since that SNS location is just a stone's throw from my apartment (did I mention how excited I am about that?) if the baby is here early or on time, I can leave her with Eli for an hour or so for the grand opening and jet home in 2 minutes, like the expert that I'm not, if he has any issues (he's an Eagle Scout--I think he'll be okay). If the baby comes late, well, then...I may have to miss the grand opening. Or, I may be VERY pregnant. Since average gestation is 41 weeks and 1 day, if she decides to be average, that puts us at May 21, with "plenty" of time to attend the event on the 20th (haha). Though, I suspect people will get very nervous when they say, "You look like you're about to pop!" and I say, slyly, "If you only knew." Or they boldly ask, "When are you due?" and I respond, "Last week." I should wear a candid camera just to record their reactions, should it come to this.

Finally, I called too late to sign up for the April Red Cross Infant CPR and First Aid classes. They told me they have openings at the end of May, but I had to decline...seeing as how the classes run 4.5 and 3 hours respectively, I don't think baby girl (or hubby, for that matter) will like it if I'm out of pocket that long. And since I'll probably be sleep-deprived at that time, it would be a waste of my money anyhow because I don't think I could pay attention for three hours--let alone four and a half. So, for the time being, I'm going to have to rely on my Girl Scout first aid training from almost 20 years ago and on my confident Eagle Scout.

Okay. Time to get out of bed. :)

No, really. I've been wide awake since 6 o'clock this morning, I just haven't gotten out of bed in any meaningful way...

Monday, April 20, 2009

And so it begins...

Today is my first "official" day of maternity leave. This is the day reflected on all the paperwork. And you know what? I feel really guilty. I feel like I need to be at school and in control, making sure the students are doing what they're supposed to, making sure that the sub isn't just giving out answers. But you know what? This is my first act of giving up control. I know that I need the practice, anyway.

I haven't talked about this before, but I think it fits nicely here. We're planning an unmedicated childbirth. I've had lots of people ask me why, especially since drugs are available, and the best answer I can come up with is because I've run two marathons! Seems like a non sequitur, I know, but here's how the two are connected. When I started running, I honestly didn't think I'd be able to run a half-marathon, let alone a full. But you know what? I ran a full marathon. Twice! I understimated what my body could do, and boy was I surprised! It was an amazing feeling to cross the finish line and know that I DID THAT! ME! Just a regular girl who one day woke up and decided, hey, I think I want to run a marathon. So, I'm not going to underestimate myself or my body again.

But, the crux is this: I'm going to have to give up control and let my body do what it was made to do, and I think, being the control freak that I am, that that's going to be my biggest mental block. I've already told Eli that he's going to have to remind me frequently to "let go and let God," as it were. Naysayers and drug advocates be darned--I CAN DO IT!

Enough of that. I have two more things to share that are on my mind:

1. Yesterday, we cleaned out the glove compartment in the Saturn. For the first time since we've been married, at least. Geez! We put a lot of "important" paperwork in there without sifting through it again. I mean, there were insurance cards from every year since 2002--before we were even married! Eli swears he's gone through and thrown some of them away, but I suspect that he did that in the Subaru and not the Saturn. Lots of receipts for batteries and tires long since replaced and for oil changes at Saturn of Waco--four years ago! And how many maps do we really need? There's one for the city of Louisville, which we haven't been to since July 2003, still in the glove compartment (because I put it back--never know when we'll be back there).

2. I got my certificates for 2 free 20 oz. Cokes in the mail this week from redeeming MyCokeRewards points. Yesterday, I opened the Walgreens sales flyer, and when you purchase a Coke, you get a free Hershey bar. So, Eli and I took our coupons to Walgreens (while out running other errands), and voila! We each got a Coke and a candy bar for 10 cents. Indeed, it was a sweet deal (pun intended).

Okay, that's enough randomness for now. I have to finish inputting grades, and I'll be done with school for the year...officially.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Artiste in Therapy

So, my highly secret surprise Saturday activity was that while I was in Birmingham, I took a painting class at a place called Sips N Strokes. A couple of the girls from my Bible study went with me, and we had a great time. I've never considered myself much of an artist with anything other than paper, so this was a stretch for me. I've always wanted to try, but faced a little trepidation since there is actual painting talent in my family. Consciences be clear--this has nothing to do with the prize cardinal I painted in seventh grade that wasn't as good as Julie could have painted. Nothing at all. Uh-huh. Rest assured, I'm not in therapy for that particular incident and do not intend to be. Anyway, back to today's adventure. Here's a series of pictures, culminating with my final masterpiece...

The three of us--me, Kim, and Mary--ready to paint.

And here's me posing with my blank canvas:

My pencil outline:

First application of paint in contrast:

Adding skin tones:

Final masterpiece:

The three artists with our creations:

I'm no expert at it, but I had a really good time. They're opening a Sips N Strokes in Auburn next month sometime, so perhaps I'll get to do this again and get some practice. Perhaps that's how I'll spend my "me" time while Eli is watching baby girl for a couple of hours...

And that, ladies and gentleman, is how I spent my last Saturday of freedom away from home. Very therapeutic. Very fun.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Down the Stretch

So, if you've been following my ticker, you know that I'm under 4 weeks until my due date. This is so crazy! Time has just flown by. I'm SO not ready, environmentally, for this baby to come. I need to clean the house, set up the Pack N Play, pack my hospital bag...still.

I just got back from Hobby Lobby, where I purchased some fabric for doing some sewing next week. My friend Ginger has a sewing machine that she doesn't know how to use, so I'm going to take some time next week to sew with her and teach her how to use it. At some point last fall I picked up an "It's SEW Easy" pattern at wally world for a simple baby dress. I went back to wally world earlier this week to look through their sale fabric, but they're in the middle of a remodel--and they've completely done away with their fabric/sewing section! Now the craft section is about an aisle and a half of yarn for knitting and random scrapbook supplies. It's just wrong. Now Hobby Lobby has the monopoly on sewing in this area, but their calico prints were on sale this week, so I went and got some black/white houndstooth fabric, from which I will make the dress in a larger size, ready for football season in the fall. And then I got some red fabric with white polka dots--very Minnie Mouse-esque. It's cute. I was really trying to stay away from pink and flowers. The truth is, I have no idea what is going to look good, so we'll just have to see how they turn out.

Wednesday night, Eli and I had a date. I can't help but count down and relish the days that it's just the two of us. Something that won't happen again for 30 years? We went to an Auburn baseball game and ate concessions for dinner. Ah, that's the life. I remember how much I loved going to Baylor baseball games and just sitting up in the stands soaking in the atmosphere--because honestly, the draw for me is the relaxed atmosphere, the smell of the grass mixed with the smell of popcorn, the generally leisurely pace of the game--oh, and the seventh inning stretch! Nobody at Auburn sings during the stretch! I was amazed. Eli and I sang along to "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" while the people around us just looked at us like we were strange. To each his own, I guess.

I worked four hours at Sylvan yesterday, followed by Bible study, which ended up being our monthly social. And then I woke up bright and squirrely (for a spring break day) and went to Sylvan to help monitor progress tests. Eli is having people over tonight to watch soccer, so I have to spend the rest of my day cleaning up, putting baby stuff away.

Hey! I just got run over by a big white cat being chased by a small brown one. Watch it, will ya? Seriously.

Tomorrow I have a big day planned, headed to Birmingham for my last outing away from Auburn before baby comes (after this, I'm limited to travel within one hour of the hospital). I think that rather than give away what I'm doing, I'll tell you about it when I get back. Let's just say I'm super excited!

Until then, cheers!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Thoughts on Mathematics

I don't know why, but I woke up this morning thinking about a high school girl who comes to Sylvan for homework support. I've been amazed by her progress as she works through Algebra II. This got me to thinking...

I'm certified for middle school mathematics, and if I go back to teaching, I definitely want to teach math. I'm pretty much done teaching language arts (at least I think so...the Lord may have a different plan). I have never had a male math teacher, which I think is weird since girls tend to shy away from math. Eli and I got into the conversation this morning (yes, I realize it's still only 7 a.m.) about whether this phenomenon is inherent or environmental--the old nature vs. nurture debate. I will stick to my guns that it is environmental (nurture). Here's why:

In Texas, to get the advanced diploma when I was in high school, I only had to have three math credits. Because I took algebra in eighth grade, that meant I had to go all the way through trigonometry and elementary analysis, at minimum, in my junior year. For those first three years--geometry, algebra II, and trig/EA--there were plenty of girls in my classes, because there were plenty of girls who were ambitious enough to want the advanced diploma, who wanted to improve their transcripts for college admission, and who wanted the advanced point rating on their GPAs. But evidently that was the end of their interest in math.

It never occurred to me that I shouldn't take calculus as a senior. I was on a roll with 4 credits in each of my academic subjects, and just assumed that everyone else would be, too. Come to find out, all the boys that I was friends with went on to take calculus--and consequently, mostly went on to be engineers and insurance adjusters, etc--but none of my girl friends did. In fact, in a graduating class of close to 400 students, there were only 4 girls in calculus my senior year. Not one of the four of us was raised entirely in the community, though several had been there for a few years. These were the girls:

Urmi -- parents were Indian, and had spent her childhood in India, fluent in Urdu
Agnieszka -- parents were Polish, had lived part of her childhood in Poland, fluent in Polish
Lindsay -- parents were missionaries in Venezuela, had lived part of her childhood there, fluent in Spanish
Me -- parents were Yankees, had lived part of my childhood in Germany, was interested in other languages (German/Spanish), but was not fluent in anything other than English

So, yes, of the four of us, I was the weakest link. I've marveled over this internationalism/math link for years. At the time, I knew it was a phenomenon, and it still surprises me to think about it. We were products of our environments, but not the environment provided in Crowley, TX. The boys, however, were a different story. They were born and raised in Crowley, for the most part, and encouraged to do well in maths and sciences. And yes, there were only 20 boys out of a class of 400 in calculus, but seriously?? The girls were outnumbered 5 to1.

Despite my successes in math, I never even considered engineering as a career. I also never considered Ohio State. Looking back I can't figure out why, except that the Lord had a different plan for me. But, I do have a mathematical mind. I'm a problem solver. That's part of the reason Eli was attracted to me...something about being a "rational female." Although I suspect he's found out that at times that was just a ruse after being my significant other now for almost nine years. Haha. I remember once he sent a letter to the house addressed to "The Rational Female," and Dad brought it to me, so I suppose Eli wasn't too far from the mark (or Dad noticed the AL return address or something).

The thought of raising a little girl is terrifying. I feel like there are so many forces already working against her before she even arrives.

I want her to find her athletic niche.
I want her to find her creative niche.
I want her to find her musical niche.
I want her to find her academic niche.

But most of all, I don't want to inadvertently perpetuate stereotypes.

Maybe I'm thinking about this too hard.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Catch Up

Let's see. It has been a couple of days, so here's the recap:

Saturday: I went to a class on breastfeeding at the hospital, followed by a wedding shower at church where we got to bring home lots of free food! It was a nice evening in with my husband.

Sunday: Easter service at church and then a lovely Easter lunch with the Walker/Smith T family. Another nice evening which included a nice nap.

Monday: Running errands, investigating return policies at various retailers. I finally got me a Cadbury egg (or six, haha) and a free $25 gift card to CVS for transferring a prescription. That meant that I got free heartburn meds with $15 left over. And I went to my first weekly appointment with the OB, where we talked about the upcoming events. At our Bradley class last night, Eli did great during the labor practice. The girls had to do things "wrong" (hold breath, tense hands, pant, open eyes, etc.) and the boys had to 1) spot what it was, and 2) encourage us to correct it. He got it every time.

Today: Too many sweets. I can't help it. A brownie, several cookies, two of the Cadbury eggs I bought yesterday, a popsicle, some mini Reece's cups (3), sweet tea. But I also had spinach. So that should count for something right?

Also today, the Army released a statement that they won't be notifying their JAG appointees until May 1. Since the notification date is so late, he also has an interview scheduled with the Coast Guard for April 27. We don't know what the timeline will be after that.

I have a list of things to do this week, including duplicate gift returns, etc. Perhaps the first thing on the list is pack our hospital bags. This will perhaps be the most difficult thing for me to do since I always wait to pack for a trip until the night before. But, I know that my life will be that much simpler if I can just get it done.

I'm still waiting for that nesting instinct to kick in. I remember when Stacey's nesting instinct kicked in...with my neice (in the duplex on Shasta)? I was amazed at her industriousness. I want that. Otherwise, I'm just going to sit around and watch TV while I try to get motivated to clean up.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Pink Ladies

I should have known something was going on this morning when the majority of the 8th grade girls were wearing pink. I noticed it right away, but then again, there was another day when they all wore pink for breast cancer awareness and I hadn't been told so that I could participate.

They had a surprise baby shower for me during 5th period today. It was really sweet how much work the girls put into it. We played silly games and ate good food (although I had eaten a huge lunch). And they were so sweet and generous in the gifts that they brought. I cried. I think that embarrassed them a little bit, but I was okay. They had me wear a silly hat, so when I get the pictures, they should be good! Red eyes, puffy face, ridiculous headgear, already non-photogenic woman. :)

Overall, it was a good last day. I only brought home 2 computer paper-sized boxes and 2 totebags. That's it. My last day at TMS had me bringing home over 20 boxes and various other items that wouldn't fit in the boxes. But, I guess I had three years of accumulation there. I have a little lesson planning to do, but overall, I'm done! I have this next week to chill.

And a little update: Mr. B, the varsity girls' basketball coach who happens to teach at my school, came to see me today and wanted to know if I would coach the middle school girls next year if I end up returning. I told him about being fired from cheerleading, and he said he had heard and that he would handle Mrs. High School Principal. He said, she just likes to let people know she's in charge and that he's willing to fight it out with her--he's not afraid. In fact, he said that he could have already gotten into a physical altercation with her in her office had he not had any sense. He just wanted there to be someone who wanted to coach the girls, since this program feeds the high school. I told him that I was very interested, should I return.

Who knows what will happen next year? Eli should be hearing from the Army, any day now. Please continue to pray for our next adventure.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

April Showers

Okay, this post is only about one of my showers, but I like the idea of bringing May flowers. (On that note, I woke up this morning thinking about the name Lilly, but that was the name of my first Cabbage Patch Kid--and Eli doesn't like the name--oh, well.)

There was a joint shower for me and the nurse after school today. I'm going to include some pictures...so here we go. This first one is a picture of the gift spread. Very nice.

This next one is a picture of the nurse and me before we opened our gifts. She's cute..it's sickening.

My handsome husband was able to make it to the shower. Consequently it was the first time he's ever been to my school or the town where it is located. He got lost. I found him. He had plenty to eat.

This is me trying to juggle everything and pose for the camera. Notice Eli stuffing his face in the background. Haha.

And who knew I was a facial contortionist? I'm posting this one because I think it's funny. I hate cameras when they catch a person off guard. Geez, I seem to remember something about not being photogenic. :) And I hope I didn't offend the giver--if so, I'm sorry. I'm not sure what the face was for, but the dress was darling.

And finally, I got an umbrella stroller--my new baby! It's green, and I LOVE that. Here's me cradling my new bundle of joy. Eli, as you can see, is greatly amused.

Fun, right?

On a separate school-related note, I got myself fired as cheerleading sponsor next year! As you can tell, I'm all torn up about it and I don't think I'll be able to sleep as a result.

Uh-huh. You believe me, right? No, really.

The high school principal is evidently also the athletic director, so she gets the right to hire and fire. She sent me a note today about how I haven't been at the cheerleading clinic/tryouts this week and that I was expected to be there. I basically told her that if I was expected to be there, then I should have been consulted in the planning of the tryouts rather than informed of the dates two weeks in advance. Sorry, lady. I have other commitments that supercede your last-minute tryouts. Evidently, I should just know that cheerleading tryouts are "always" the week before spring break. I told her that since this is my first year in the county, I wouldn't know what "always" happens if it's not in writing. Anyway, I filtered these e-mails and responses through Mr. Principal, and he wanted to claim me as an adopted daughter, he was so proud. Evidently he doesn't like the principal at the high school.

The double-edged side of this is that if I were to return to this school next year, the only bright spot in my year would be coaching the girls' basketball team. In the last line of her last note, Mrs. Principal made it quite clear that I would not be coaching anything for her next year. And she wished me well in the birth of my baby and hopes I have a happy spring break. All in the same breath. So, now there is no impetus for me to return or to feel guilty about not being there to coach basketball, because that is now out of my hands. In the end, it all works out.

I would just like to add that the woman can't form a proper sentence if she tried. I'm going to quote a couple sentences from her e-mail. Please remember that this woman is a PRINCIPAL at an institution whose purpose (purportedly) is to EDUCATE, and that to be in a such a role, she must have a MASTER'S DEGREE in administration, which means that she's been back to school and is somehow deemed "qualified" to lead educators, and should be, at some level, an effective COMMUNICATOR. Okay, okay. That last bit may be pushing the envelope. Now for the good stuff.

The opening line:
"You were to have been informed weeks ago of the dates when you were given information in regards* to garnering interest for the girls to express their interest in the trying out for cheerleader."

Huh? Welcome to the infinitives and prepositional phrase disco! Love that passive and extremely confusing, noncommittal verb construction. So, if you didn't inform me, then who was to have been informing me of the dates "weeks ago"? And how about all that garnering interest for the girls to express their interest? Classic.

Here's another good one. This is "in regards to" her policy that if you have a question, you should ask: "I have yet to be asked about when tryouts or any other questions about not attending camp or clinic."

Again, huh? Aside from the omitted thoughts, I'm the not the one with the questions, if she hadn't noticed. I have no questions about not attending camp or clinic, since, again, I was not included in the planning phase. And since I'm THE cheerleading sponsor at the middle school and there's only one at the high school, you would think that my 50% involvement would somehow be important enough to include me. Nope. No questions from me. Their actions were all the answers to the questions I never needed to ask.

So those of you who are bothering me about leaving the classroom and becoming an administrator, please note that even with my master's degree I am not so well "qualified."

And finally, a praise. After the shower, we came home, changed clothes, and went back out to remove the battery from the Saturn to take to AutoZone to be replaced. Eli decided to try to start the car one more time...and VOILA! It started.

Praise the Lord!

*I just looked this up to confirm my suspicions, because it didn't seem correct: “In regard to” “and “with regard to” are...correct. But “in regards to” is nonstandard [emphasis mine]. You can also convey the same idea with “in respect to” or “with respect to,” or—simplest of all—just plain “regarding.”

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Oops, I did it again...

No, no. This is the first time I've used a Britney song title as my post title. Not that.

I left my headlights on while I was at Sylvan.

And then the car wouldn't start. I tried to jump it off on one of the other teacher's cars, but it still wouldn't start. As a result, I had to do what I wanted to do least--call Eli. I was hoping that I could get it going again and not have to tell him that, yes, I left the lights on, and yes, I know that I shouldn't even turn them on in the daylight, and yes, I shouldn't leave them on if I do turn them on for whatever insane reason I feel I have to. To make matter worse, tonight was the first new episode of NCIS in a long time, and it was already on by the time I called Eli. I was supposed to be home watching it with him, but I instead made him miss half the episode to come rescue me...in the cold. Because it's almost freezing...in April.

The car still wouldn't start, even after Eli used his magic touch. So, it's still up in the Sylvan Learning Center parking lot. I have to bum a ride to school tomorrow. And my baby shower at work is tomorrow, so if Eli can't make it, I have to bum a ride home, too, with gifts in tow.

I feel ridiculous.

And stupid.

The irony of the situation is that one of the dads owns a car detailing business, and they have awesome rates for teachers on Tuesdays. I want to get the Saturn cleaned inside and out before I install a carseat (as this may be the last time that it is clean for a long time), so today, for Teacher's Day, had everything ready for them to come pick up my car from school and clean it and bring it back by the end of the day (they're awesome, right?)...except that their hoses froze last night, so they couldn't wash the cars. They apologetically told me they would honor the price tomorrow.

Except now I won't have my car with me, and this is my last week in LaFayette.

Again, I feel ridiculous.

And stupid.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Weekend Fun

This was the weekend when Eli and I drove down to Mobile to see Cirque du Soleil! What fun! We went with the in-laws and saw the show Saltimbanco. It was amazing. Next time I go to one of their arena shows, I'm totally paying the money to get a floor seat--so much audience interaction. We had nosebleed seats, but it was still amazing. Such an artistic endeavor. They have six resident shows in Las Vegas--I'm going to have to plan a trip out there to see a couple of them. I especially want to see the water show, O.

And today was my baby shower at church. We are so blessed with this church family. They are so loving and thoughtful. It makes this whole having a baby experience that much more wonderful and exciting. I will post a couple of pictures once I have them.

This is my last week at school! Woohoo! (Pray that I make it through!)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Home Early

Schools let out today at 2 o'clock due to impending inclement weather. It was overcast, yes, but didn't look so bad. So, I took my cue from the cows--most of them were laying down in the pasture, which is not ordinary. That's a sign, right? I've decided to stay in instead of running to Hobby Lobby to get some fabric with my 40% off coupon in the sale paper this week.

And Sylvan called to tell me that so many students were calling off due to the weather that they don't need me tonight. I am relieved. Mostly I just want to go to sleep.

I have Bible study tonight, but I'm secretly hoping that gets called off, too. But not because I'm sleepy. The Baylor Bears play against Penn State in the NIT final tonight in Madison Square Garden @ 6 CST. I will watch the beginning of the game, but would feel terribly conflicted if I had to miss the end (I would have to leave for my study by 7:15).

I honestly thought about taking the day off tomorrow (call it a "mental health day") but cheerleader applications are due and I have to be present to collect them. Maybe I can finagle it so that I'm ready to take the day off on Monday? That would be a trick. The kids are just crazy since it's testing week. They don't want to do anything in the afternoons, so it takes more energy to entertain/engage them, energy that I just don't have. It's right about now that I wish I didn't have a "no movie" policy. That would make my life so much easier. As it is, I'm still trying to figure out what to do with the kids for the last weeks of school, since I will have a sub who may or may not be able/willing to teach something new. Ugh.

And on an unrelated note, I had two students at my table at Sylvan last night -- a 4th grader (doing math) and an 11th grader (doing study skills). I said something exclamatory to the 4th grader, and started with "By George!" The 11th grader decided that he was going to correct me, starting on some diatribe about the decline of the English language, about how, as a teacher of English, I should know that it's "by jove" and not "by George." I wanted to slap him. But instead, I told him he needed to go home and look up the origin of both phrases and that we would discuss it when I have him at my table next week. Jerk. It was one of those situations where I knew that, yes, "by jove" would be appropriate, but that I wasn't wrong in using "by George" either. That just made me mad.

By George, I think I'm ready for maternity leave!!