Friday, September 21, 2007

Into the weekend

And so the weekend begins.

Before I start blathering on about the week at hand may I just state the obvious and tell you that I have joined the "people I hate" list and added a playlist to my blog. As I am painfully aware some of you will not share or appreciate my most outstanding taste in music. Just remember that you can click on the II to make it stop (it's over there under my profile if you can't find it!). That will be all for today's public service announcement.

Now, let's just was my week?

Princess has been fighting a nasty cold and keeps waking up in the middle of the night. This makes for a cranky mommy and has not helped my homework one little bit. I had a draft of a paper due today that did not go well. The math homework that was collected was even worse! My nice math prof assigns several problems for us to work on over the week and then collects 1 of those problems. And, of course, the one he collected to day was the one I could NOT solve. Ah well, that's the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.

Did I tell ya' the story about how I drove all the way out to campus after dropping Princess at school...only to realize that I had left MY backpack at home. Thankfully after I drop Princess off and head out to campus I have an hour to spend time working on homework. I like that my schedule worked out the way it did. Gives me a chance to wind down, listen to music and review my work. So, in the grand scheme of things it didn't set me back more than another 27 miles on the odometer - and of course a CRAPPY parking space! If you don't get there before 9, or close to it you end up parking in BFE. Seriously, I hate it! Sure, maybe it's fine for those young kids - but I'm old!

In my Diversity in Education class we are currently discussing the Jena 6. Have you guys heard all the buzz about this case? I find it amazing that people all over the country who really have no first hand knowledge about what is going on (as in they are listening to what all the liberal media tells them) are just up in arms. My class was not amused with my old lady views on the subject. My classmates are all just so young and eager to jump on any bandwagon. Do I think there are serious injustices trying to be balanced in this case. Probably. But my point to my fellow students was we need to step back and maybe look again and wonder how this all began. It was easier for them. It wasn't that long ago they were in high school. So I asked them if there was a popular table in the lunchroom and what they thought would happen if one of the dredges of school tried to sit at it. And here is where I think this confrontation began. I think it had less to do with racism in the beginning and more to do with the worst kind of teen bullying and mean. From there it all spiraled, as ratially charged situations have a tendancy to do. I know it's been all over the TV lately and charges have been changed and some of it has been explained. I doubt that any of us, including many of those who are in the thick of it will ever understand the complete impact of these cases.

*Update* Rick found this great article about the case.

I'm starting to get that feeling in the back of my throat that tells me I'm getting Princess' cold. I told her that today and she said, "well, it's your own fault. You're the one that insisted on hugging and kissing on me even though you knew I was sick". How can you argue with logic like that?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Some days

It is not even half way through the semester and I'm already in a funk. Not really about school, but I know the stress of the classes always has something to do with my moods. I'm feeling sorry for myself more than usual. Honestly I don't have anybody to blame but myself. I have managed over the past 10 years to all but turn myself into a hermit. I have let friendships slide away into oblivion. Nothing bad, just friends who got tired of me never returning their calls and eventually stopped calling. We still chat once in a while, but they are no longer the friends I can call up and say "hey, let's get together this weekend" or call in the middle of the night when I need to talk.

I guess most of it comes from the fact that given the choice I am not the kind of girl to call anybody up and say either of those things. Left to myself, I would rather be just that, left to myself. I like being alone. Not really "alone". I have wonderful women on the internet that I confide in almost daily and count them as friends. As I get older, as Princess gets older, I wonder if I will enjoy being alone so much when she is grown and moved on. Will I kick myself for cutting some of these women out of my life?

But, then I think....I have a new adventure ahead of me. As I look toward graduating and starting a new career I know I have a fresh start waiting. So, what kind of person do I want to be when I get there? Can I find a way to start letting people into my life?

It's hard. Especially since Josh died, it is just so hard. I feel like I need to "break-in" new friends and acquaintances because frankly most people just don't know how to behave when they find out my son is dead. And sometimes it is just more work than it is worth....especially considering the fact that I love being alone.

So, it's a vicious circle. I have chosen this road for myself, and yet I feel like part of me wants to build that part of my life again. Maybe I just like being alone because at heart I am a selfish person and can't be bothered with anybody else. Maybe I like being alone because over the course of my life the people that I am closest to have done nothing but disappoint and hurt me. I really don't know. Whatever the reason I am most content when I have the house to myself, the TV and computer on and I am doing absolutely nothing.

I can only hope it's because I'm a stressed out mommy/student and that as this status changes I will change to.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

September is...

...childhood cancer awareness month...

This is how I remember him, my Joshua...silly and crazy and everything that a wonderful 4 year old boy is. He turned 5 shortly before he died, but we know now that he was sick even then. My mommy eyes still see my handsome little boy, free from cancer and wanting nothing more than to play hard all day and settle in at night with a good book (Franklin...his favorite turtle) and getting tucked in by mom. Ah, those were the days. The days when I thought children lived forever and nothing could touch us. (read his story here)

I didn't know what other amazing plans were in the Master Plan for my life.

What I know now is that every day children are diagnosed with cancer. And after you've been there, heard those words, you don't want anybody else to have to be in your shoes. Ever.

Thank you to Gigi for sharing these simple warning signs
C ontinued, unexplained weight loss
H eadaches, often with vomiting, at night or early morning
I ncreased swelling or persistent pain in bones, joints, back, or legs
L ump or mass, especially in the abdomen, neck, chest, pelvis, or armpits
D evelopment of excessive bruising, bleeding, or rash
C onstant infections
A whitish color behind the pupil
N ausea which persists or vomiting without nausea
C onstant tiredness or noticeable paleness
E ye or vision changes which occur suddenly and persist
R ecurrent fevers of unknown origin
Not every child with these symptoms has cancer. Only about 1 in 330 children will be diagnosed with cancer....but you should remember that YOU are your child's best advocate. You know your child better than any doctor or team of doctors.

You can find lots more good information HERE.

Everytime you have a chance to donate a balloon, remember that worldwide a classroom full of children have today been diagnosed with cancer and that about 10 of them will lose their battle.
(This ends today's public service announcement ;-)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

1/2 hour makes a difference

This last week of getting off to school has been blissful. There has been little whining from Princess (and yes, we are still in the honeymoon period with our new school but I have a good feeling about this!). We have gotten out the door on time, even on the days that I have to get to school too. This is the way I wish every morning could go. There is nothing I hate more than having to rush, except for maybe getting out the door late.

I was talking to a mom at the football game tonight (yes, we cheered again tonight, you can tell I'm thrilled, right?) and she made the point that it must be nice that our new school starts a full 1/2 hour after our old school. Yes, it goes 1/2 longer at the end of the day....but that 1/2 hour in the morning really has made a TON of difference. We can now sleep in until 7:30, which seems a lot later than our 7:00 from last year. Waking up Princess has not been as awful. She rolls out of bed with little complaint and once she was even awake before the alarm (which, of course, made mommy none to happy....mommy likes to sleep....well, in the morning, not so much late at night when I am enjoying my solitude).

In the morning, even though we are traveling a few miles farther, it still only takes us 10 minutes to get there. This means we don't have to leave the house until 8:15, which makes me SO happy! I hadn't realized how much I appreciated that 1/2 hour until this other mom mentioned it!

So, more cheerleading stress. Somebody please just put me out of my misery. On Tuesday nights the little guys get to play on the varsity field. Complete with an announcer and the lights turned on...the whole nine yards. This is nice for us poor parents as it means we can sit in bleachers instead of a mish mash of lawn chairs that make their regular appearance at the practice field we usually play on. The cheerleaders get to be on the track instead of in the mud, which is always a plus for those of us who have to do the laundry. Tonight we arrive 1/2 hour early, as we have been told to before each game. Only one cheerleader has arrived before us and most don't roll in for another 15 minutes. The announcer comes by and asks for a list of the cheerleaders (they introduce all the football players and cheerleaders by name before each game and let them run out on the field... it is just too cute...) And coach (who is annoying coordinator's high school daughter) looks blankly at him like he has just asked her for her phone number or something. She has no list. So, I volunteer to go back to my vehicle and get a pen and paper and I set to the task of getting all the names. The night sort of went downhill from there.....although the team we were cheering for did win - so the night was NOT a total loss! And the coach is lucky she didn't get strangled by one of us disgruntled we watched her standing there staring blankly offering little direction to the poor cheerleaders who were freezing their butts off!

But, tomorrow is a new day. And you can wait patiently with me while I see how long it takes somebody to call us and let us know the time and place of our game on Saturday. The schedule is supposed to be posted on Wednesday, but I've got my money on about 7pm Friday night.....

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Still Tired

This week FLEW by. Princess rolled out of bed happy each morning (yes, it was still the first week of school but this is a refreshing change of pace at Princess' castle)

She is adjusting well to the new school, making new friends and impressing her teacher. I had a long week at school and am thankful for the weekend. I still have a ton of homework to do (but somehow no math homework! that's a nice break). Now, please accept my sincerest apologies as the rest of this post turns to one of my least favorite subjects (not my daughter, the cheerleading you silly!)

Another one of the girls in her class decided to join Jr Cheer, but since she only made it to half of a practice before the first game Princess and her friend took in on themselves to teach her a lot of the cheers at recess. By recess on Friday it sounded like they had themselves a full squad of 10 girls that they were teaching cheers too! (what is it with little girls and cheerleading anyway?). Of course any place where Princess gets to be in charge and tell people what to do is OK by her, so she's having a great time!

Last night they got to go cheer at the varsity game for the first quarter. The weather was perfect and the girls all had a great time! Thankfully, however, she didn't want to stay for the rest of the game because after my week at school I really, REALLY did not want to stay at a high school football game for the evening. Today she cheered at her rocket football game and we could not have asked for better weather, or a better time. The game was at 10:30, so we got to sleep in a little and then head over to the field. One of our players got hurt and had to be taken to the hospital for a wrist X-Ray...hopefully he's OK, especially since we got KILLED (22-0...LOL). The girls looked awful (thank you unorganized coach for trying to teach the girls 14 cheers in 4 practices and then expecting them to remember them all for the first game...whatever!)

Oh My Word! Speaking of cheers! We were typing up the words to all the cheers Princess could remember so she can give them to her two classmates to take home. There was one cheer we couldn't remember so we did a web search for cheer words and ended up looking at a ton of new cheers and laughing at how stupid some of them were, but there was one that Princess just went APE over. Made me put it on the sheet even though their squad doesn't do it. Says they are going to make up moves for it at recess and try to convince the coach to let them do it at a game. I'm going to leave you with the cheer, just so you know what I'm dealing with here on a daily basis!

(in your best valley voice)
Like Totally
Fer Sure
I just got a manicure
The sun, I swear
Is bleaching out my gorgeous hair
My make-up is a-smearin'
I think I lost an earring
15 to 24?
I don't even know the score
...Gosh I hope I look alright

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


It's like this...

I have FAR too much homework to do and my brain is fried from thinking about trying to prove the divisibility theorem (doesn't that just sound like fun?)

I do have a few stories to share about Princess' first day of school, but for now...

You can glimpse the short version over at my "other" blog (although can you really consider it a blog if it's on AOhelL?)

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Big Day

We're on the edge of our seats here. Semi-patiently waiting for the first day at a new school. It's almost 11 and Princess can't sleep. A deadly combination of mommy letting her stay up WAY too late last night (ergo she slept in til 10 this morning) and those darn butterflies in the stomach that we all get when we are faced with the unknown.

Let's start first with the confession. I tried my darndest to get Princess to drive up north with me and take a spin on the Dune Rides. She has gone the last two summers in a row, and absolutely loves them. I'm not sure why she didn't want to go. I thought it would be a good diversion. It's a long enough drive that it would end up taking up most of the day. I thought it would be a perfect way to kill a day over the long weekend. Since she didn't want to go I scrambled and tried to come up with some other things to do.

Lots of time with Grandma was a must. I even got some homework done while she played with Grandma (woo hoo). Of course this was about the only homework that I did this weekend and I find myself in the usual position of having a ton to do while she is at school tomorrow. The weather was gorgeous all weekend. We played some tennis. We played lots of tennis actually. Princess even roped Papa into taking her once. Don't get me wrong, we all suck at it. Probably THE most uncoordinated family you ever want to meet. But, we can't let that stand in the way of a good time :-)

Sunday we hit the mall for a bit. I had promised her new earrings for her first day back to school. I should have just taken her to Meijer or Target, but sucker that I am we went to the mall and hit Claires. Of course at this point the day takes a turn for the worse when I get the whole drama queen act. "Can I Puh-Lease get another set of holes in my ears?" ya, right, that's going to happen "BUT MOOOOOOM". So I did what any good mom does when confronted by a tween on a mission. I tried to reason with her. What was I thinking? And of course if I tried to reason with her, you can probably already guess how the exchange ended. Oh, FINE, I admit it! I pulled out the old "because I said so" line. I hate myself. But it was either that or grabbing her by the hair and dragging her through the food court. And, you know, they have laws against that (I'm sure made by some guy who never had to stay home with this kids for a week straight - LOL).

As the day was winding down a thought popped into my head that I had promised to take Princess to the drive-in this summer. She hasn't brought it up in a while and I didn't REALLY need to take her, but she was SO much fun all weekend I thought it might be the night for it. We checked online and as usual there was nothing she could watch at the first movie, but the second feature for one was Hairspray (which we both can't get enough of!). We made the drive and arrived at the theater shortly after 10. The first movie ended up still having about 15 minutes left, so I didn't do TOO bad guessing on time and it gave us a chance to head to the concession stand for (quite possible the worst) popcorn (that I've ever had). You should have SEEN her eyes though when we came around the corner and she saw the 4 big movie screens. It was worth the drive just for that look. All the way out there she kept asking me questions and I finally told her that there was just no way I could explain it to her. There was nothing that she's ever seen to help her put in perspective. Once we got there, she finally said "you're right mom, what i pictured was nothing like this!" So we got back a little late last night (early this morning?).

When I checked on her this morning she was sound asleep with the sun shining RIGHT in her face. You know the girl's tired if she can sleep with that much sun!

But tomorrow will be the big change. A new school. After 4 successful years at an outstanding charter school (part of the National Heritage Academies) it was time for a change. We had some (academic) issues that were not being resolved, and while I know the grass is not always greener, it helped to make my decision that a change should be made now rather than later. While we were at Grandma's earlier today she got her nails done. Then tonight she spent a LOT of time trying to pick out the perfect first day of school outfit. At bedtime she asked me if I was going into school with her. I told her that I had to go into the office because I need to bring in the original copy of her birth certificate and shot records (which I had already faxed). They start out with recess so I told her she could either come in with me or stay out and play if she felt like it, but that she didn't have to decide tonight.

I think I'm more scared than she is. I mean, what if they don't like her? What if she doesn't like them? What if I made the wrong choice and this is the worst year of her life?

I'm not sure I'll be sleeping much tonight either.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

She is SUCH a girl!

I love my daughter, really I do...but she is SUCH a girl!

I swear if ONE more tube of lip gloss melts anywhere in my house I am going to make HER clean it up. She sails through life blindly putting nail polish on her nails wherever she finds to sit (translated this means I have random spots of pink nail polish on furniture and carpets). She takes nail polish off sometimes in the middle of some random room. There are SPARKLES all over her dresser. It's my mother's fault really. She doesn't see it as a problem for Princess to leave open bottles of nail polish remover wherever she happens to park herself.

That was until the bottle tipped over and stripped the finish off the corner of her dining room table. Which grandma claims she doesn't like anyway so who cares. And whenever we are at Grandma's house she thinks it is adorable that Princess just makes a huge mess wherever she goes. It's like a mini tornado has hit!

The child is just hopeless!

(Oh my gosh, U of M lost to WHO? Appalachia State? I can't even spell it let alone who's heard of them??)

Yesterday she insisted on going out in her denim skirt and cowboy boots. Did I mention she's only NINE?? It drives me nuts!

Last year their cheer coach insisted that they would learn something about football. I thought that was a good idea, but the only information she really learned was that a score is called a touchdown. And that, of course, only because one of their cheers is T-O-U-C-H-D-O-W-N. I guess it's better than nothing! I flipped past football tonight and left it there for a minute and she asked me how you could tell the difference between offense and defense. When they lined up I told her that there would be one man on the field that had his hands on the ball and their team is the offense. Easy enough, right, well then her little mind is going a mile a minute and from somewhere inside her brain she says "so that's the quarterback that tells all the other guys what to do, right". Thinking she was on to something I said "right, and the guy who hands the ball to the quarterback is the center....'cause you know he's right in the middle". She looks at me and being the smart 9 year old that she is (or smart alleck as the case may be) she says "well then wouldn't it make more sense to call him the quarter front if he hands the ball to the quarterback"

How can you argue with logic like that?