Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Look Back

I can't believe it has been a week since I last posted. Things have been quite harried. We spent a relatively quiet Christmas Day at home, Skyping with J so she could see Elsie open the gift J gave her, then Skyping with my family, and then I got to Skype with my best friend M, who is a missionary overseas. They are many hours ahead of us. We were both in our pajamas, but for different reasons, haha.

The day after Christmas we made our way to Mobile to have Christmas with Eli's parents and siblings. We spent the night and came back after church and dinner on Sunday just in time to meet my family coming in from snowy Texas. We had a great visit--took my sisters to Sips N Strokes on Monday, went to the art museum on Tuesday, and took Elsie photos on Wednesday. Eli had to work all day, every day. I worked at Sylvan for a couple of hours each day so my sisters, dad, niece, and nephew had unobstructed Elsie time while I was away.

They left yesterday evening and suddenly my apartment was big and eerily quiet. I missed them. I miss them. But (sorry guys) it is nice to be able to walk around in my underwear again. :)

Anyway, today I took Elsie to J's for a little while, since it's been over a week since we saw her. I then went to Kohl's and spent $5 on $50 worth of stuff. I had GREAT coupons. And then I went to Hobby Lobby and Target. Didn't do much damage at either place, thank goodness. Did get a toy bin for Elsie, but that's about it.

I went and picked Elsie up and took her to the group at the hospital. It was a sort of reunion, with three other babies that I recognized that were Elsie's age, give or take two weeks. We had such a good visit! There was toy stealing and hair pulling and rice puff "sharing". Oh, and there was plenty of drool! I can't wait until summer to maybe spend some more time with these moms/babies!

So, a quick look back before tomorrow. Last year, on this very night, I set some goals for the new year. Here's how I fared.

1. I DID NOT finish the last 40 pages of Little Women. I'm not too broken up about this. I really didn't like the book, anyway.

2. I did read more for fun, though not as much as some seasons in my life. I even read some books that I wouldn't have thought to pick up before, such as some mysteries by Dick Francis, and some lesser read Grisham.

3. I did have a baby, and a cute one at that!

4. I did make an effort to spend some time being crafty. I didn't get to do as many of the baby-related crafts that I wanted, but I did get to paint and make jewelry and cards and decorate a cake.

5. I did take a class to learn something new--I went to Sips N Strokes three times and learned to make jewelry in addition to the childbirth and breastfeeding classes.

6. I think that we did okay in watching less television after Elsie came--because were were sooooo tired, but I think we backpedaled a little when football season started. But, since I've been back to work full time, I think I have been watching less overall (speaking for myself). The problem ended up being more about time spent on the computer.

So, that's the list. Tomorrow I will unveil my plans for the new year. You know, if I have time.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas, 2009!

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

And on a mostly unrelated note, here's Elsie, yesterday:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Laughing so hard...

Just a quick Elsie story.

A little while ago she was playing in her jumperoo and she was starting to get bored, so I sat down in front of her and started making faces and sounds. Every time I made a sound, mmmm-GA! or mmmmm-ZA! she would laugh hysterically. She kept doing it, so of course I kept making sounds, changing my consonant plosive. And she kept laughing. After several minutes, she was laughing, but her face started flushing, and in between laughs she had the beginnings of that pouty face that says, "I'm about to cry." And I would make another noise, and she would laugh maniacally. And the skin around her eyes got redder and redder, but she kept laughing, until finally she started crying. It was the cutest, saddest thing I've ever seen.

I often laugh so hard that the only "logical" next emotion is a full-on cry for no good reason. This is definitely my child (even if she doesn't look like me).



Just minutes later, Elsie is playing on the floor and she gets really quiet. I look under the coffee table and see this, so I had to run and get my camera.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sci-Fi no more

Remember when the idea of talking face to face to someone far away was science fiction? Me, too. And then I kept hearing about this Skype thing, mostly from Oprah. My best friend from high school was about to move overseas as a missionary when her sister was about 8 months pregnant, and M was lamenting that she would get to see or meet her niece for 3 years. I said, "What about Skype?" Turns out, that's exactly what they did. And now they all talk frequently, even with the time difference.

So, as an early Christmas present, Mom gave us a new laptop (goodbye old piece of junk) with a built-in webcam solely for the purpose of using Skype to keep in touch. I know, I know. It's mostly so that the whole family can keep up with Elsie's growth, but I like to think they want to see me, too. Haha. So, today, we got all the software up and running and got to Skype it with the fam, ready for a Christmas morning celebration that will span the geographical distance. Woohoo! Elsie's first Christmas and virtually everyone can be there! (Haha...virtually.)

The other joke, too, is that Elsie will think these people are in the computer. My parents used to tell a story (and was there a recording, or am I just making this up?) of when Stacey was little and they were making a tape to send Grandma. "Tell Grandma goodbye." "Where is she?" "She's in the tape recorder." Or something like that. Hard to explain technology to little kids. But I DO remember my niece, when she was little (3, maybe?), asking me if I was checking my e-mail, and me being stunned. Now they have cell phones. My students don't believe me that I was 24 or 25 before I first got one (and they also don't really understand that cell phones haven't always been around).

Which brings me to my last tangent before I call it a night. I had a student who would not behave during locker dismissal time, and as a result she was not allowed to go to her locker. I gave her multiple chances to get it, all she had to do was sit in her seat and not talk for long enough to convince me that she wanted to go to her locker (1-2 minutes, maybe), but she didn't. As a result, her mom called the assistant principal to complain about me and this situation, saying that her daughter was locked out of the house without her key and her phone, and because she didn't have her phone couldn't call her mother. Because she didn't know her mother's phone number.


Have we gotten so lazy that we don't teach our children how to store important phone numbers in analog ways (i.e. their brains?) in case of emergency. I mean, if she got home, didn't have her house key, though she had her cell phone, but the battery was dead, wouldn't she still be in the same predicament? Call and complain to the assistant principal about that.

Just to wrap this up with a bow, the same student was actively texting in my class two days later, so her phone got taken up and turned into the assistant principal, and again, had to go home without her cell phone. She was mad at me, of all people. Mr. AP said he would be happy to call the mother, as he opened the safe and put the phone in. The kids were mad, too, telling me that I didn't know that cell phone policy because this was my first year here, that the other teachers would have given them a warning. Whatever. I closed my door and pointed to my cell phone policy sign which has been on my door since day one--you know that one that says cell phones will stay in your lockers or be turned over to an administrator, NO EXCEPTIONS? And then I kindly pointed to my name on the door. It doesn't matter what the other teachers do. I follow the rules, and this is my classroom. End of discussion.

And that was the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. So you wonder why I had such a stressful three weeks from Thanksgiving to Christmas? Yeah. That's why. Teenagers.

Where do I apply for sainthood, again?


Friday, December 18, 2009

Disco Diva...without the disco

I survived the first semester. Amen.

I could stop posting right there, but I would have to leave out details about our awesome end of quarter incentive activity! So, I'll go on.

Today, we took the seventh grade roller skating. Yes, kids still roller skate. I made sure I wore the craziest socks I have (or the second craziest, since my neon skull and crossbone socks are in the dirty clothes pile) and when I got my skates, I rolled my jeans up to reveal the rainbow stripes. The science teacher on my hall ALSO wore crazy socks today. The kids thought we planned it. She knew something I didn't though, so her sock selection was better than mine--the roller rink had black lights. Dang! Maybe next time.

Anywho, we had a blast. The music choices were a bit disappointing. No DISCO music??? What kind of roller establishment is this?!? And there was a notable lack of the LIMBO and the HOKEY POKEY--skating standards, I thought. I didn't fall at all, and I impressed most of the kids, because, you know, they think I'm old, and therefore unable to do anthing "cool". That got me to thinking about the last time that I went roller skating.

::biddlydoo biddlydoo biddlydoo:: (flashback music)

I'm eighteen and rocking the rink in my skates. I'm flying high (figuratively) because, guess what?? I just cast my vote in my first presidential election! The screens in every corner of the rink in Waco, TX, were covering the news and the election returns. Every time I made a lap I checked to see the latest results. I thought for sure that we would know before we went to bed who was going to be the next President: Georgie or Al. I was wrong.

::biddlydoo biddlydoo biddlydoo::

That was twelve years ago. That was before many of my students who I skated with today were born. That's right. I am old.

But, now that I think of it, I feel sure that we had at least one BUGWB in Disguise event after that. For those of you who know nothing of what I speak, BUGWB is shortspeak for Baylor Unviersity Golden Wave Band--the marching band I was in for four years in college. The "in disguise" of which I speak was my brainchild while I was at Baylor. (I maybe missed my calling as a party planner.) The band rented out the roller rink and hosted a party where people came in disguise, and then we had a bunch of people in crazy costumes and get-ups skating around. It was a blast. How was I behind this? I was in band leadership--the historian, to be exact. At least that year.

Anyway, enough nostalgia. Tomorrow my age is really going to show when I'm all achy and creaky when I get out of bed after using muscles I haven't used in years! (Although, you could probably argue that those muscles were used a few years ago when we went snow skiing--but it's still been years, people! Haha!)

Happy Christmas break to you all!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I have survived the worst of it. I had a student assault me this week (fancy words for "he physically shoved me out of the way while going after another student who he initially insulted before the other student insulted his mother") and he has been sent to the alternative school until the end of January. Stinks to be a star athlete with no self control and a bad attittude. That's life.

Same student, in response to me telling him to sit down for the umpteenth time during that class period: "Okay, sweetie."

Same student, in response to me calling his name with the intention of telling him to sit in his ASSIGNED seat for the umpteenth time during the class period: "What NOW?"

Same student, in response to me telling him to sit in his ASSIGNED seat during bus dismissal for the umpteenth time this year: "That's so retarded."

Yes, there were office referrals with at least 2/3 of those.

So, now I have two days left. Tomorrow we play games. Friday we go roller skating. I'm so ready for Friday afternoon to be here. 48 hours! Counting down!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Go Away

Finally, the rain stopped.

Yesterday morning, I got up to go to Sylvan for a couple of hours and it was sprinkling outside, the kind of sprinkle that taunts you, "If it were colder, I would be snow!" By the time I left Sylvan, two hours later, the teasing was over and we had a full on drizzle.

We left around 1, driving the hours in the rain, to come to Mobile for the annual performance of This is Christmas at Eli's parents' church. I did not fall asleep. Woohoo. (It's not boring, people, it's just that after four hours in the car, it's dim, it's warm, and there's this lovely lullaby that sounds like choral chamber music in the background.) And by the time we left, the streets of Mobile were flooded and the radar showed a big red blob in the area, so we hurried back to port and pretty much immediately went to sleep. Thankfully, the rain has stopped.

[Okay, weird. It's 6-something in the morning, and I'm on the computer while everyone else at the Beaver mothership is asleep, and I just heard snoring coming from...the couch. Not sure I want to investigate.]

Elsie was the only baby in the nursery last night, and the ladies fell in love with her (big surprise) and can't wait for her to come back this morning. One of the ladies has been working with the nursery for 30 years and remembered when sister-in-law S, who is now 23, was in the nursery. How's that for longevity?

As I waited for Eli to pull the car around to the awning so that we didn't get wet, I got into a lovely conversation with a woman who commented on how pretty Elsie is (have you entered her into any contests? she asked) and then noticed that my accent didn't sound Southern, where was I from? That's right, my accent. My yankee non-accent is an accent to someone not from here either. She made me guess where she was from when I asked. Eastern Europe, I said. Very good, she said. Now which country? I wish I had gone with my first instinct which was Hungary, but I said Czech Republic. Close, she said. Poland. And then we talked about how she ended up in Mobile, Alabama. She was hitchhiking from California to Florida and got stuck here--now she has a family and this is where she lives. I thought, that's funny, because you're only a stone's throw from Florida. Haha.

Anyway, that's my post for this morning. I may crawl back in bed and pretend like this never happened.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Lotsa Snotsa

Well, if this weather would ever decide what it's doing I think that our sinuses could finally settle down. Elsie is having a hard time. There's lots of boogage in her nose. She didn't sleep very well last night because she couldn't breathe through it, only her mouth (and so, guess who else didn't sleep well?), and when we woke up this morning she had schnotskies in her hair! Ugh. At 4 something, after I had been up with her an hour earlier, Eli got up with her. She was not happy--screaming, etc.--which makes the mucous drainage situation worse. So, I got up and we tag-teamed her with the blue ball of nasal doom. And while she didn't like it, she did sleep again. And so did we, for about an hour. Eli got up in time to get ready to go to Bible study, but when I woke up at six-thirty (when the study starts), he was still in the shower, comatose, so he completely missed Bible study this morning. And then I was running way late. And the day continued on just like that.

Tonight was our Women's Christmas Party at church and I had the pleasure of designing card-making activities for the ladies. I think they enjoyed it a lot. It was a cookie swap, but this week has been so hectic that I didn't make cookies for it (the irony is that the cookie swapness of it all was partially my idea). I did, however, get to come home with a baker's dozen of various holiday treats. Yum. I know I had a great time watching everyone be creative. There's just something about card-making that is cathartic. I munched on cookies and sipped on cider and helped people who wanted it (and maybe some who didn't...haha).

So, as promised, I completed the New York stage in Mafia Wars on Monday, Elsie's 7-month dodecaversary*. I sent all my great weapons and loot to friends who asked, and I deleted my account from FB. Not as promised, I still have a CastleAge account. I'll probably drop that by the new year. In the meantime, I have been thinking about what kinds of things I can get accomplished while my family is here the week after Christmas. One task I would love help on is fully transitioning the spare bedroom into Elsie's room. She'll be moving around soon enough, and that's just not a safe place for a mobile baby. I also have about a crudzillion totebags full of randomness that I need to just sit down and sort through, but that will probably require heavy amounts of moral support (I'm addicted to totebags almost as much as I am to piling junk). And time to sew up some summer dresses for the little miss. Get a Hobbly Lobby coupon and go get some cute fabric. I have several patterns from an etsy store called Whimsy Couture. And the front closet, which is supposed to be a coat closet but is really more of a place to pile boxes that contain piles--that needs to be cleaned out.

So, I have six more school days until Christmas. Pray that I don't snap. I haven't complained about work this year because--surprise!--there's almost nothing to complain about. But this week has really tested my patience. On Monday, I thought I might just like a good cry to get it out because that's what I did last year, but then I remembered that last year I was pregnant and hormonal, so maybe it wasn't as bad as I remember...nevermind. It was.

On that note, I'm going to sleep. Thanks for tuning in.


*I made up a lot of words in this post. I feel like I may have accomplished more than Bill Shakespeare in the creation of newfangled things to say. What a night!

Monday, December 7, 2009

7 Months

Okay, I admit it. I'm backdating this post. Yesterday I was having issues with the computer and couldn't log in.

So, Elsie is now seven months old! No way! Every month I am more and more amazed at how quickly she's growing and how quickly the time flies.

This month, Elsie has become a solid sitter. She also has been getting up on all fours and rocking, but that's about it. She's very mobile in that she can roll and scoot all over the floor. She thinks it's absolutely hilarious when she ends up under the coffee table.

As far as solids, she has tried rice cereal, sweet potatoes, peas, and prunes. She likes to eat. And she also has been eating way more than I am able to pump. This means that my frozen stores of breastmilk have been diminished severely in the last three weeks. We are down to only three 2.5-oz. bags--three weeks ago I had over 30 bags in the freezer. Part of this is that Elsie had been sleeping through the night with maybe one waking. Then the weather changed, and she has been waking up every 2-3 hours from being cold. I have ordered some wearable blankets to take care of this and am impatiently awaiting their arrival. Because Elsie has been eating more during the night, there has been much less milk available at my first morning pumping. Used to be I could pump 7-8 ounces in the morning. Now I'm lucky if I can get four. It's very depressing. On top of that, Elsie was eating 6-2.5 oz. bottles a day, and then increased to seven. Yesterday J sent a note saying that Elsie ate NINE bottles. I can't keep up.

After the winter break, we're going to set J up with a high chair and a feeding schedule for solid foods. In the meantime, we will probably have to supplement with formula. I know this isn't a big deal in the overall scheme of things. It's just different. Up to this point I have been able to pump enough. Now I'm not.

So, that's it for an update. If I were to guess, I would say that she topped 17 pounds this month.

Love her to pieces. She's just so darn adorable.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Picture Pie

So, I had the camera out to take pictures of Elsie's shoes and ended up taking more pictures. I guess that's easier to do when the supplies are handy and there are batteries all ready.

On Thursday night I went to a retirement party for the librarian at our school, and I thought I would be coming home to a hungry screaming baby, but instead I found this:

Then yesterday, I wanted take a picture of Elsie's new shoes, sure, but more importantly the cute blue jacket she's wearing belonged to my niece...about eleven years ago. I remember when Elsie was born I thought that she would never be big enough to wear it. Ha! Now I can't remember when she was ever small enough not to. So, the picture below, she looks like a little boy, but she was looking at the camera without making a silly face.

Then, when we came home yesterday, we had a package from Julie that was full of good stuff. At first Elsie was just interested in chewing on the box, until I unpacked it. We played on the floor with the blocks for a while. You'll notice Timmy in the background wondering what this stuff is.


And in the box was a beautiful winter dress that was perfect for Elsie to wear to our first middle school dance last night. We put a bow in her hair and some patent leather shoes on her feet and went dancing!

Whoops. Left the pacifier in the car.

And finally, the in-laws came through last night on their way to Atlanta for the SEC championship game today, and we went out to dinner. By this point, it was way past Elsie's bedtime. Haha. Look how mesmerized she is with her paci clip. Stuck awake.

I'll probably have more pictures for you for tomorrow. We're putting up a Christmas tree today at some point and inviting people over to watch the game. Should be lots of fun.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Obsessive what?

Okay, okay. Here are a couple pictures of Elsie. The first one shows off her awesome shoes made by my friend Misty at Misty's Blessings. Tomorrow E's going to wear the red ones to show J. The second one is my hungry caterpillar chewing on The Hungry Caterpillar rattle/teether. So, my blog header went from one caterpillar to another. Check out her mint green velour jogging suit.

Two funnies for today:
My students were talking about obsessive compulsive disorder amonst themselves, you know, as if they're experts on the topic (which some may be, and it wouldn't surprise me). They enjoy telling each other that they're OCD about various things. So, yesterday, as some of my students were putting up stickers on our Team Peyton reading chart for Scholastic, someone skipped one of the numbered spaces. The next person went and put her sticker in the empty space to make it all look right again. The boy behind her said, "Man, you're ODD." She asked, "What's ODD stand for?" His reply? "Odd."
I overheard this exchange as we were getting ready to line up for lunch and it really made me laugh. :) But not nearly as much as the kid who bent over the water fountain today to get a drink, but misjudged where the water would squirt and got his eyebrows all wet. An advanced student, I might add. This, my friends, is why I still have a job. :) (FYI -- You should turn the water on and then lean into it and not the other way around, in case you didn't know. Just sayin'.)

Surprisingly, that wasn't my second funny for today. The second one came from a news story on NPR about troop reduction in Afghanistan, talking about how if they reduce troops and then the commander turns around and immediately asks for more manpower, that President Obama will have a Whiskey Tango Foxtrot moment. Took me a minute, but I had to laugh.
Okay, enough of that. Time for bed.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Cleaning out my time

I mentioned in a previous post about my addictive gaming personality. I've been playing Mafia Wars on FB since this summer. The game really has no objective and no way to win. So, if you can't win, why play? I don't know. It just seemed like a challenge or something, but it's getting old and it's getting in the way. So, I decided that once I master New York, that I'm done.

Lucky for me, a few weeks ago, the makers of the game that are always adding new content decided to have a Big Apple Week where you could earn twice the experience and twice the loot. As a result of this adventure, I am about a week away from mastering NY, when before I was about two months away. So, ladies and gentlemen, this is me publicly exercising a little accountability. Even though I've been working on it for months, when I meet this goal, I will be deleting my MW account, as well as my CastleAge account (another game that is also futile), and I will be paring down my friends list by deleting MW- and CA-only friends. And while I'm in the mood for profile cleaning, I think I'm going to delete students from the past and high school/college people who I didn't even really know all that well anyhow but were wanting to see my profile.

And you know what I'm going to do? I'm going to unpack more of my children's books and read to Elsie more often. There are days when I feel like even though she's only seven months old (almost!!) that I'm already missing out. When she was a helpless babe (lump) and needed/wanted holding, I could think about 100 other things I wanted to be doing, which is why I enjoyed other people holding her. When she was asleep, I wanted to either sleep (or play around on Facebook), now I wish that I had paid more attention to her and held her more at that age, watched her sleep and "treasured all these things in [my] heart."

It's just something that's been on my mind recently.