Comments from the Peanut Gallery

Taking one day at a time...

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers
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  • DO SOMETHING GOOD
  • Friday, September 30, 2005

    I Stayed Home From Work Today...

    Why? You ask. Let's do the math.

    One nasty head cold and no Kleenex plus one baby who didn't want to sleep at all last night equals one tired, boogery, cranky Mommy. Add my pregnancy morning sickness to that equation and you've got yourself a sick day, well-deserved. It's only the first one I've taken this school year, but I was hoping to make it to, at least, October before having to use one at all. Oh, well. I must put myself first in this case. A sick, tired, crabby teacher and Mama is no good to anyone unless she is well.

    To the substitute who took my place today, I hope you're doing your job. If not, I'm sure I'll have to clean up your fucking mess on Monday. And stay out of my shit. Just because it's there, doesn't mean it's free for you to steal.

    To the head cold that allows me to breathe out of only one nostril at a time, fuck you.

    To Baby Jack, who decided to stay up for three hours in the middle of the night, leaving his Mama and Papa stressed out, tired, and ready to kill each other, I hope you're enjoying your nap. It's the one I should be taking right now.

    To anyone who wants to get in my way today, good luck. I'll be running over you with my chosen vehicle, my broom.

    To Linus, King of the Turds, you better stop shitting in the house or I'll be beating you with your own leg that I break.

    To Java, the Beyonce of Chocolate Labradors, you better not bark and wake Baby Jack or I'll be tap dancing a lively number on your big pumpkin head.

    To my students, who I am so glad I'm not with right now, you're lucky I stayed home. I would've killed you all if I showed up today.

    And last but not least...

    To all of Blogland, thanks for letting me vent. It keeps me from throwing knives around aimlessly.

    Thursday, September 29, 2005

    If You Hate English, Maybe This Is Why...

    1. If inert is to be stationary what is ert?
    2. Why do people use the word "irregardless?"
    3. Why is 'abbreviation' such a long word?
    4. Why isn't "palindrome" spelled the same way backwards?
    5. Have you ever looked at the word "laugh" and tried to sound it out?
    6. Why can't you make another word using all the letters in "anagram?"
    7. Why is "big" such a small word?
    8. Why isn't "phonetic" spelled the way it sounds?
    9. If you are lax about something and then are lax about it again is that called a relax?
    10. Before you can retaliate, does someone first have to taliate? If so, just what would they be doing?


    And...last but not least (and certainly not the end to an incredibly long list of dilemmas of the English language)...


    Why is it impossible to say the word "lisp" properly if you have one?

    I'm just saying. It's the English teacher in me. That's all for now. Really.

    Wednesday, September 28, 2005

    Happy Birthday, Linus!


    Linus, King of the Blues! Posted by Picasa

    Today is the first birthday of Blondie's dog, Linus. He's just a little thing, but he sure packs a vicious punch. Happy Birthday, King of the Turds, er...Blues! This blog post is for you!

    Tuesday, September 27, 2005

    New Photos Taken Last Night...


    Love of my life... Posted by Picasa

    Man of my dreams! Posted by Picasa

    Thank you, Mamalife, for reminding me to post updated photos of Baby Jack! I hope you enjoy them!

    Monday, September 26, 2005

    A Joke That Creeped Me Out...

    This one kid, Kevin, in one of my classes asked me if I wanted to hear a joke. I told him it was okay with me as long as it was clean. He proceeded to tell me and I just had to share it with you.

    Kevin: "What did the father say to Michael Jackson at the beach?"

    Me: "I don't know. What did he say?"

    Kevin: "Get out of my son."

    Get it? Sun/son...

    I was humored and sickened at the same time. Is that possible? Of course, having a son of my own made the joke make me feel even more sickened than I normally would've been upon hearing any Michael Jackson joke at all. I laughed a bit, but at the same time, I was mortified.

    Out of the mouths of babes, I suppose... And where the hell did he hear that one? I don't even want to know. Something tells me he heard it at home. Yeesh.

    Sunday, September 25, 2005

    Continuing To Amaze Me...

    Baby Jack didn't fall asleep until 11:30 p.m. last night and decided to wake up at 4 a.m. today. Aaaarrrrgggghhhh.... I brought him into the bed with us, but I didn't even crawl out of bed with him until around 6 a.m. I needed sleep because I felt like I was screwed out of any quality sleep yesterday and the day before that, as well. I thought, just one Sunday I could sleep a little later than 6 a.m. No dice here. Baby Jack is the boss and that's that.

    So, Hubby and I trudged down the stairs, went through Jack's normal morning routine with him, albeit way earlier than usual. After my 7 a.m. shower, I let Hubby go back to bed. He's got to work today, so it's only fair, I think. Jack had his breakfast and a huge poop for his Papa, so Papa's entitled to get a little more shut-eye.

    I'm trying to wear Jack out so he can take a nap soon. He's been crawling all over the office, amazing me in the process. He's not crawling in random directions for no reason; he's crawling after objects he's throwing across the room, and very efficiently at that. When I had put him on the kitchen floor, where do you think he headed? That's right...straight for the dog's water bowl, speaking what sounds like Japanese to me (my Mom said that's what he sounded like yesterday). He also pulls himself into a standing position every chance he gets; and he's becoming really good at falling down. He thinks it's so funny to fall down on his butt; he can't stop laughing when he does. Watching him do all of that makes me feel so good. I love seeing him do cool stuff and learn new things. He can go from crawling to sitting up in seconds now. And it all totally makes up for him waking my lazy pregnant ass up before the morning paper even arrived today.

    Now, if only I could take a nap when he does, all would be right with the world. I don't know if it'll happen, but I'm not going to hold my breath. He continues to switch his routine on a daily basis, so I guess that's his new routine...unpredictability.

    I'm okay with that as long as he keeps amazing me with the little things in life that make him so precious to me. He's got me so smitten with him! It's love at first sight every day, even if it's way too early and the rest of the civilized world is still in a peaceful slumber.

    That boy's got me wrapped around his little finger and I wouldn't have it any other way, really.

    Saturday, September 24, 2005

    Talk About Time Management...

    In my life, everything revolves around time management. I can multitask, but I know many people who cannot. It's not something you really learn; you're just born that way, I think.

    I gave a test to my classes yesterday. It was eight pages long (four sheets, both sides). I managed to grade them all before I even went home (and, yes, I went home on time). I did it because I didn't want to have that hanging over my head all weekend, taking away from the precious time I have with my little boy. And the last thing I want to do when I get home is spend time working. So, for me, it's all about time management. Everything in my world counts on how well I can budget my time (not just at work, but in my personal life, as well).

    I can do many, many things at one time, each one done very well. And this didn't just come to me as a part of Motherhood. It's always been in me. I don't know why I know how, I just know I can. And it comes so easily to me. You'd be surprised at how much I can get done in a short amount of time. And I wear this skill with pride. My boss knows how well I do it; my Hubby knows how well I do it; anyone who has any contact with me whatsoever knows how well I do it. It's just a significant part of who I am.

    Does anyone else out there take pride in how well they can manage their time? Or am I just one anal retentive motherfucker?

    Sidenote: I am one anal retentive motherfucker; I admit it with no arguments, but that's beside the point.

    Friday, September 23, 2005

    Tickers and Tag...

    My wonderful blogger friend/partner in crime, Erin, suggested I put up a ticker counting down to the baby's due date. I went one step further and put up a ticker for Jack's birthday, as well. Thanks, Erin, for reminding me of my blogging Mama duties. I really like them!

    And Manic Mom tagged me today, so here goes...

    Ten Years Ago...
    I was 23, working as a retail manager while searching for a teaching job. It wasn't easy, but I found a job at a rough school in one of the most dangerous parts of this city. I wound up truly loving it.

    Five Years Ago...
    I was living in a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment in one of the nicest neighborhoods on the North side of Chicago. It was me, Hubby, and Buddha...not too close to Wrigley Field, but within walking distance. We hadn't had Jack yet, nor was he a glimmer in my eye yet. Little did I know, my life would change for the better once he arrived, albeit four and a half years later. Hubby worked within walking distance of our place and Buddha and I would go to visit him often. We were paying $700 a month rent, which was a steal for where we were at and what we got for our money. I was in therapy and on my way to a much more content state of existence.

    One Year Ago...
    I was four and a half months pregnant with Jack. Prior to that, we'd just bought our first house in a delightful and safe neighborhood where I could finally call "home." We'd been in it a year before I got pregnant. We'd also acquired the puppy, Java, and had our hands full. My hormones were taking me on a ride back and forth to hell, but I could honestly say I was happy and ready for the drastic change that Motherhood brought me.

    Yesterday...
    I reviewed the test I was giving today with my students, came home and ate Spaghettio's, watched all the primetime must-see TV shows on NBC, played like a madwoman with Baby Jack, and fell asleep during Jay Leno. It wasn't a bad day at all.

    5 Songs I know all the words to...
    Any song by Duran Duran
    "If You're Happy and You Know It," my song of choice lately
    "Rubber Ducky" by Ernie on Sesame Street
    "Fallen" by Sarah MacLachlan
    "True" by Spandau Ballet

    5 Snacks...
    NutriGrain Apple Cobbler granola bars
    PopSecret popcorn
    Hostess cupcakes
    HotStuff potato chips
    Apples and Bananas, what I crave during this pregnancy

    5 Things I'd do with 100 million dollars... (I changed this one from 1 million to 100 million dollars)
    Retire
    Buy real estate all over the country so I'd always have a place to go on vacation
    Pay off every family member's bills
    Set up college funds for my kids
    Invest, invest, invest

    5 Places I'd run away to...
    Hawaii; Maui, specifically
    The Northwoods of Wisconsin
    Las Vegas
    Mostly anywhere in Europe
    My bed

    5 Things I'd never wear...
    Daisy Dukes
    A tube top
    A bend-over-and-you-can-see-my-colon skirt
    Pink and orange, combined
    Taffeta

    5 Favorite books/TV shows...
    Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
    All of the Chicken Soup for Mothers books
    The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
    "The Apprentice"
    "ER"

    5 Greatest joys...
    Baby Jack
    Hubby
    My family
    My dog(s), current and past
    Motherhood

    5 Favorite toys...
    My computer
    My car
    My three-hole puncher
    My computerized gradebook program
    My digital camera

    5 People I'm tagging to do this...
    My Sister
    Erin
    Kat
    CubMommy

    Beans

    Current reads...
    Chicken Soup for Every Mom's Soul
    Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul 2
    Tangerine by Edward Bloor
    I Love to Cuddle by Carl Norac
    Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney

    Let me know if you're going to put this on your blog, as well. It's always fun peeking into the minds of fellow bloggers!

    Thursday, September 22, 2005

    I'm Getting Old...

    Why is it that certain young men between the ages of 16 and 25 insist on blaring their bass-thumping music while driving 20 miles an hour, drowning out my Carole King while I'm trying to relax on my way home from work?

    It kills me. It really does.

    Not only are those "thumpers" rude, but they're also usually very ugly young men who think they are hot. They drive past the little girls who look older than their true age, gawking and catcalling, as if they can't possibly keep their penises in their pants any longer. And the girls just giggle and wave; some sway their child-bearing hips in response to those catcalls; maybe 2 out of 10 will actually shy away from these jerks.

    These guys are usually driving around the high schools and the middle schools looking for fresh bait...jail bait, that is. They are usually cutting school and looking for someone to cut with them. They've usually got plenty of weed and Tequila, as well.

    And they blast their fucking music as if it were actually blastable music. What they are listening to is actually noise...noise that is usually about which bitch they're going to fuck over next, which cop's ass they're going to bust a cap in, or how high they're going to get with their homies while they should be in school. Blastable music, to me, would be AC/DC, Metallica, or Ozzy Osbourne. You can blast pretty much anything from the 80's, but you most definitely shouldn't blast music about pimps, ho's, and hoochie mamas. You can blast Supertramp, Roy Orbison, and Elton John. You cannot blast cop killer shit, my-bitch-this-my-bitch-that shit, or anything Tupac Shakur (he really IS dead, you know). You can't be respected if you do so.

    Maybe I'm just getting old, but popular music has turned into noise. And getting out of the neighborhood I work in without encountering these dregs of society is hard to do. Why can't music be music again? Why does it have to be noise now? I'm only 33, but I feel like I've been witnessing the downfall of Western civilization for the last fifteen years...and it's all begun with the music parents have let their kids listen to.

    Will this ever end or will it only get worse? Tell me you get it and that I'm not crazy.

    Wednesday, September 21, 2005

    Sex...

    Hubby doesn't want to know the sex of the baby and I don't think I want to know, either. With Baby Jack, we wanted to know so we could prepare better since he was our first. This time, however, I think we'll just let it be a surprise. I'm not big on surprises, but this one's a doozy. And I guess I'm willing to let it go. After all, I don't really need to know. It's nice to be able to plan, but it's also nice to wait and be surprised by it all. How often will that happen in one's life?

    And you probably thought I was going to post about how great pregnancy sex is or how in the first trimester I hate everything with a penis until the second trimester begins and I can't get enough of that great pregnancy sex. Shame on you.

    Tuesday, September 20, 2005

    Take Two & Call Me In The Morning...


    Just what the doctor ordered... Posted by Picasa

    Monday, September 19, 2005

    Tears In My Kitchen...

    I had a very good cry a little while ago. I'm talking about a heart-wrenching sob for a variety of reasons, a sure sign of my pregnancy. I forgot how those first months are, really. I cried for everything I could think of and it lasted several minutes. And I didn't feel better until I ate.

    All I really wanted to do was set up Baby Jack's meals for tomorrow and when I opened up the cabinet with all his food in it, the flood gates opened. Hubby knew what was up. I'd been testy and irritable right beforehand, so it wasn't a surprise when I couldn't stop wailing. Damn you, Hormones!

    Baby Jack is Mr. Crabass today. He's given Hubby a few more gray hairs today. Mr. Crabass is teething and didn't fall asleep last night until 11:30 p.m. I didn't sleep well at all. Work was a bitch today. You name it; I feel it right now. And I feel it times 100. All I want to do is rest and it just isn't going to happen because my mind just won't let me.

    Will you just hold me right now? I need to snuggle. And I need tomorrow to be a better day. Damn you, Hormones!

    Sunday, September 18, 2005

    Late To Bed, Early To Rise...

    Baby Jack was up late last night. He didn't fall asleep until after 10:30 p.m. We tried to put him in the crib several times prior to that, too, to no avail. He just kept waking up the second we'd put him down. After several attempts at the Mommy Bounce, he finally fell asleep, exhausted from fighting it. Hubby and I were so happy to be able to go to sleep after that. It seemed like the night wasn't going to end, but it did and we were elated...until this morning.

    Jack decided to get up before the sun, before the morning paper came, before the rest of civilization deemed it fit for waking. At 5:40 this morning, I heard him stirring in his crib. He'd cry a little bit and one of us would run in there, pop the nummy back in his mouth, pat him on the back, and slither out of the room, hoping for another hour or two of peaceful slumber. Ehhhhhh...wrong answer. Baby Jack was ready to start his day, but neither one of us were. We even tried putting him between us to see if he'd fall back to sleep. Nope. Nada. Zilch. Okay, I get it. I'm coming to get you as soon as I can peel the covers off myself and stumble in to pick you up, all the while keeping my eyes closed. I can't believe I got up so early on a Sunday morning.

    He ate all of his breakfast and proceeded to play "hard." He was sweaty and happy. Coffee got made; the dog was let out and fed; and I wound up taking a shower at seven in the morning...on a Sunday. Geez, I thought, this is going to be harder than I thought. Not only am I tired because I'm pregnant; I'm tired because I didn't get enough sleep. Hubby and I are in for quite a ride in the next coming months...and years.

    Baby Jack is a drooly mess, teething like a madman. I can't wait until a tooth finally rears its ugly head so that he becomes congenial again without the aid of a numbing agent. I'm sure it'll only last a short while until the next tooth decides it's ready to appear.

    The joys of parenthood...right?

    I don't fret about it at all, however. I'm happy and content, really. Baby Jack is the boss and our schedules revolve around him. While I miss the days of sleeping until the afternoon, I am at peace with those days being long gone. I know that all the days he's in my life are good days, at least until he's a teenager and hates me for grounding him for doing something stupid. Babyhood doesn't last forever and I want to make sure he grows up with good memories. So, whatever it takes, I'll do it.

    Today will be another good day because even bad days are good ones in the grand scheme of things. I am lucky. I am grateful. I am Mama. And it feels so good to wear that hat.

    Saturday, September 17, 2005

    You Make The Call...

    I called twenty parents from my cell phone during class yesterday. Thank goodness for *67.

    There were two important assignments due yesterday that the kids had two weeks to complete. One was a 100-point book report (they have to do 25 by the end of the school year)and the other was a 250-point Internet project (5 per quarter). Some chose to hand in only one; others chose to hand in neither. Well, I put myself in their mothers' shoes for a moment and asked myself what I'd want my son's teacher to do.

    So, I wasted my cell phone minutes calling students' homes to let their parents know what they hadn't turned in. Allow me to elaborate.

    I teach in the inner-city, where education is not valued by all families; church and gang activity are, and sometimes a combination of the two. Some parents give excuses for their children; others can't wait to beat the shit out of them when they get home. And no parents like to get calls from teachers at their jobs, provided they are actually working and not living off our tax dollars. It's sad when I think about it.

    I figured that one time is all it takes for some kids to get their acts together. Others, it feels like I'll be calling their homes a lot in the future. And I absolutely HATE calling homes. I get one of several reactions:

    a) The Blamers - Some parents will blame me for not being clear about the assignments, even though the parents were given a list of all the projects and due dates for the entire school year. That list was available at the open house they chose not to attend (only 2, yes 2, came from the 8th grade). The kids received that list the first day of classes and many misplaced it, but it always seems to be my fault that they did, even if I handed out extra copies earlier in the week. Plus, the list is also posted on our school's website for parents to access at any time.

    b) The Hiders - Some parents will say they don't have the Internet at home and don't allow their kids to go to the local library to use it because their neighborhood is rough. Somehow, that becomes my fault as well, even though they could wake their kids up to send them to school early or let them stay late to work on it in the computer lab.

    c) The Invisibles - Some parents insist that their kids are always working on their homework or studying, but it's apparent that they don't know what their kids are doing at any given time. They can't account for where they were at any time or when they were doing homework.

    d) The Enablers - Some parents beg for extra time for their kids to complete their assignments. They wind up helping them do it by doing it for them.

    e) The Good Ones - On rare occasions, I will actually get thanked for letting them know their child missed an important assignment.

    f) The Idiots - Some parents are drunk or high when I call, even if it's ten in the morning. They tend to beat their kids or ignore them.

    g) The Caller IDer's - These parents never answer the phone. They choose to screen their calls and not pick up if it's the school or if it says "private." After all, I could be a bill collector for all they know.

    The e's and f's kids are my favorites because I can help them the most. I can help the e's by keeping them in line, something they need me to do. I can help the f's by never calling their parents again. When I know about certain volatile home situations, I can take care of matters without ever informing their no-good parents when something's wrong. They won't care anyway, so why not just let the kid do extra stuff to make up for what he misses? That kid obviously needs me more than he needs his parents.

    Back to the calls, I had a combination of the reactions above. Only three parents actually turned out to be Good Ones. I had a few Idiots and several Caller IDer's. It's typical, really. That's what I get for trying to reach out.

    Come the end of the quarter, I will no doubt be accosted by many parents about the grades their kids got and they will blame everyone but themselves. After all, the schools are supposed to teach kids what they cannot learn at home...English and a system of values and ethics.

    Tell me again why I do what I do.

    Friday, September 16, 2005

    No More Monkeys Jumping On The Bed...

    I'm sure you can see where this one is going.

    This morning, Baby Jack decided to get up at 5:45 a.m. I had jumped into the shower and by the time I got out, he was asleep again, courtesy of his Papa. Thank goodness, I thought. Today was Papa's day off, so I was hoping that the baby would sleep somewhat. Hubby had done what we normally do when the little guy wakes up too early for civilization. He put him in our king-sized bed, right next to him, where both of them proceeded to slumber peacefully.

    Well, lo and behold, I get out of the shower, put my stuff away, and start getting my lunch ready when I hear a "THUNK" and wails of displeasure coming from our son. Apparently, he'd crawled off the foot of the bed, landing on the floor. You might recall him doing this before when we were on vacation; he'd jumped out of his rockatot (bouncy chair), landing on the hard kitchen floor the morning we were set to come home, making us drive at breakneck speed for six hours just so he could see his doctor. Well, here we go again. After I'd held him for a few minutes, he stopped crying and looked into my eyes to tell me everything was fine. I knew he was alright, so I didn't freak out at all. He went right back to sleep and didn't wake again until 8:30 a.m. I guess he just wanted to sleep off his little trauma.

    He'd never crawled off the bed before, but we knew it was inevitable. We just didn't expect it to be this morning. Not to worry, though. Baby Jack is fine; he's got a head like a melon, an unbreakable one at that. I was a little worried at work, but after I talked to Hubby, I knew the baby was fine. He's a boy. There are going to be plenty of boo-boos in the future, anyway. I'm glad he's okay because that means, essentially, that I'm okay.

    Hubby felt terrible, but all is well now. I just don't know if we can ever put him in our bed again unless there are guards up. That would be the wise thing to do. And now we know we must do just that. Besides, he's going to need them eventually anyway, so what's the difference if we get them now or later? Judging from this morning, I don't think I need to answer that question. While we're at it, Hubby and I will be lowering the crib mattress...again. Our adventurous seven-month-old son likes to stand in his crib, hold on the the side, and bat away at his mobile now.

    Something tells me that I'm always going to worry...for the remainder of my life. And I can honestly say that I love being a Mom. It exercises my knowledge of how and when to use common sense.

    Thursday, September 15, 2005

    Hollywood-Style Childbirths...

    Wouldn't it just be great to pop out a baby without having to go through labor and be uber-skinny in time for the next awards show? In fact, in Hollywood, you can actually fake your due date. Apparently, that's the new trend.

    If a star wants to get skinny in "record time," all she has to do is fake her due date, making it a month later than it's supposed to be. Word has it that Ben Stiller's wife, Christine Taylor, is one star who did just that. She announced that her due date was a month later than it actually was, just so she could have adequate time to starve herself back into her size zero pants less than a week after "giving birth." Numerous others have adopted that trend, as well.

    And don't forget to make sure you have a nanny who will take care of your baby while you're at the gym. Remember that the baby and the nanny need to bond. Mom and baby have their whole lives to bond, so it's more important to head to the gym instead of changing a dirty diaper or actually holding the baby. Why does the Mom need to hold the baby when the nanny gets paid to do it?

    Hollywood disgusts me. I just thought I'd let you know.

    And, no, I'm not saying this because I'm fat. I'm not fat at all. I'm just appalled that society places such a high regard for such a meaningless occupation. I mean, how can you really trust anyone who lies for a living (that's what actors/actresses do, isn't it?), and gets paid more than you'll ever make your entire life?

    Furthermore, congrats to Britney on giving birth to more white trash. That's just what this country needs. After all, you can take the girl out of the trailer park, but you can't take the trailer park out of the girl.

    Really. I'm done now.

    Wednesday, September 14, 2005

    Sniff, Sniff, Sigh...

    I miss you, Blogland. Now that I'm back at work and off maternity leave, I feel like I've been neglecting you. I'm trying not to be, posting something everyday, albeit later in the day. It just doesn't feel the same, though. I almost feel like I'm married to blogging and I'm cheating on you. Okay, bad analogy...but you understand my feelings, nonetheless.

    Beans pointed out to me yesterday that she misses me. I was always never far behind when she'd post and I'd leave a comment almost as soon as she was done posting. Now, it seems like I run through my blogreads in the evening and I miss out on the "news" because it isn't new by the time I read it. Everyone's already thinking about what they're going to write tomorrow while I'm just getting around to what they all wrote today. I feel as if I'm letting you down, to some extent.

    I know it's almost ridiculous to feel this way. It's only a blog, but I've made some real connections with real people through this medium. It saved my sanity many times. And I genuinely like most of the people I've "met."

    You know the drill, though. Priorities have changed. I can't really blog at work because I don't want to get in trouble for doing so on company time. Between Jack, my seven month old who prefers standing and jumping to crawling, and work, and my new pregnancy (gosh, did I just write that? Is it really real? Still in shock, folks...), and life, in general, blogging is one of the last things I get to do everyday. I wish it were different.

    I know you understand my feelings, however. I also know that we're all still partners in crime. No matter what happens in life, we still make time to connect. Those connections might not be at the same times they usually were, but they really still are there. I haven't lost my touch. I've just misplaced it for the time being. I just hope you don't mind my late posts. And, yes, evening posts from me are late, to me.

    One thing will never change, however. I will always blog unless I absolutely positively can't. And you know me well enough to know that if I haven't written in days, something must be wrong. Let's hope that never happens.

    Until next time, which is, of course, tomorrow...don't think I've strayed in the least bit. I'm loyal to all of my friends, whirling around in cyberspace or not. And I miss you when I'm at work. I really do.

    And, yes, I did do this post at work, but I wrote it last night and copied and pasted it here from my email. I'm a rebel at heart, really. I miss you all that much.

    Tuesday, September 13, 2005

    Happy Birthday, Hubby!...

    Today is my Hubby's 33rd birthday and Baby Jack and I made him a cake! Just before Hubby gets home from work tonight, I'm going to throw some flour on the dog and the baby and say that they helped me make the cake, of course. They really did, too. The dog stayed out of my way while I made it and the baby took a nap, even though it was only for forty-five minutes. So, in a sense, they helped out a lot. I can't wait until he gets home later!

    The only drawback is that I didn't have enough powdered sugar to make a homemade chocolate frosting with. So, instead of frosting, I have to just dust the cake with powdered sugar. It's not his favorite cake topping, but it's just going to have to do. I didn't realize I hadn't had enough powdered sugar until it was too late.

    Happy Birthday, Hubby! I hope you had a great day! I love you! Hopefully, one of your presents can be a good night's sleep!

    Monday, September 12, 2005

    Odds And Ends...

    Baby Jack decided to start waking up at 3-4 a.m. now. For the past couple of days, he's made good on his promise to wake us up. I'm suspecting a tooth or two any day now. He's never been a night waker before, so teething is the excuse I'm sticking with. I'm pretty good with moving in and out of zombie mode, so getting back to sleep isn't hard for me to do, unless it's too close to my wake up time to begin with...then, I'm a bear.

    Work went by very quickly for me today. It seems like as soon as I got there, it was time to go home. That works for me! If only all the days in the work week went like that...

    Tomorrow is Hubby's 33rd birthday. I can't believe we've known each other for thirteen years, too. Sometimes it feels like it hasn't really been that long. I hope it feels like that forever. He's off today, but has to work tomorrow. C'est la vie, I suppose. Anyhow, Baby Jack will be assisting me with making a cake for his Papa tomorrow. It should be interesting. I'll do with him the same thing I do with the dogs when I'm baking. I'll throw flour all over him and tell Hubby that he helped out. It's always cute. I wish you could see it. There's nothing cuter than a Chocolate Labrador and a baby covered in flour.

    Hubby's at the post office right now; Jack is sleeping; and Blondie is watching TV before she heads off to class. I, however, will be catching up on my blog reading and just relaxing before the baby decides it's time to get up.

    Today has been a good day. Let's hope there's more of them to come. If you get the chance, click the brown voting button to the right at the top of my sidebar links and vote for me. It's a new week, so the votes start all over again! I don't know if I'll ever be #3 again, but it sure was fun being there. Have a great evening!

    Sunday, September 11, 2005

    A Date With Hubby...

    Last night, Hubby and I went on a date while my niece, Blondie, watched Baby Jack. Believe it or not, it was the first time we've gone out to dinner together since before Jack was born. He's seven months old now. As you can see, we really needed to "connect" with a meal and we may have to start doing this more often. We had a wonderful time. Before we had Jack, we used to go out to dinner all the time, spending insane amounts of money on meals and frivolous products. Now, we have to spend that dough on diapers and necessary baby items. I don't mind, though. What I have now is just as wonderful as what I had before we had a family. I can honestly say I don't miss $15 lipsticks one bit.

    We chose to go to Gibson's and splurge on a fine dining experience, especially now that I've gotten a "real" paycheck. We started out with a small antipasto, possibly the best one we've ever had anywhere else. For dinner, Hubby had a small porterhouse steak and I had Alaskan king crab legs. We split a side order of garlic mashed potatoes and chose to pass on dessert. Why spend twelve bucks on a slice of cake when you have a drawer in your refrigerator filled with Reese's peanut butter cups?

    It was a lovely dinner. On the way home, we listened to music from ten years ago that reminded us of when we were "courting." I felt ten years younger on the drive home. Pulling into the garage, Hubby said, "Okay. Back to Mommy and Daddy mode." It was kind of funny because I don't think we ever got out of Mommy and Daddy mode while we were out. We mostly talked about Jack and the new baby we're expecting during dinner, anyway. Maybe for just a split second I felt like a non-Mom, but for the most part, I never really took my Mommy Hat off at all.

    Baby Jack gave Blondie a bit of a hard time. She tried everything to soothe him, but he was just Mr. Fussypants for her. I felt bad about it. Once we got home, she took a nap. We were only gone a little over and hour and a half, but it was long enough to warrant some serious naptime for her. Hee, hee! Oh, to be young and be able to nap at any time...

    Jack didn't stop fussing just because we came home. Oh, no sirree.. He fussed enough to make us almost forget about our lovely dinner. We wound up giving him his nighttime bottle earlier than normal, followed by a nice warm bath to calm him down. As with any bathtime, Hubby and I got soaking wet from Jack's splashes. I didn't mind and I never do. We sang the Rubber Ducky song that Ernie sings on Sesame Street, cuddled, and were able to end the evening on a high note. Jack fell asleep quickly and all was well in the world again.

    Unfortunately, Jack decided he was going to be wide awake at 3:45 a.m. I wasn't having any part of that so I put him in bed with us, where he proceeded to fall asleep (at around 4:30 a.m.), waking up for good at 8:30 a.m. It was a semi-rough night, but it wasn't the worst one we've ever had, by far.

    This morning, after I put Jack down for his morning nap, I ate my leftover crab and some of the garlic mashed potatoes for breakfast. There's enough garlic in me right now to ward off any vampires that come my way. And I've never felt better, really.

    Saturday, September 10, 2005

    Letting It All Sink In...

    I didn't get a chance to post something yesterday. Life kind of got in the way. Plus, I wanted to leave this on the blog just to let it sink in (in my own head). I'm still sort of shocked, but very pleased at the same time. Wow!

    Thanks for all the well wishes and kind comments. As of a few minutes ago, fifty-four comments have been made to me regarding that post. (Notice how I keep referring back to it. I just can't stop looking at that picture.) Hee, hee! It's nice to spread good news and I'm glad I shared it with all of you.

    I also told my boss yesterday. I was going to wait until Monday, but not much is going to change about how I'd say it between now and then. So, I took the plunge and let him know. Obviously, I'm not waiting to tell anyone. I just can't contain such good news. Plus, I don't believe that it will change the outcome if I let the cat out of the bag before my first trimester is up. I'm not superstitious like that, but I know many people are. I can respect that, but I'm just not one to keep that kind of secret to myself. Anyway, my boss was sort of thrilled. He was very logical about it, as well. He said that most teachers are women; women have babies; and without women having babies, we wouldn't have jobs. He comes from a very large Irish family, so he's no stranger to one kid after another. And I feel relieved now that I've let him know in advance that he needs to find someone who can fill in for me the last six or more weeks of school. It's a big burden lifted from me.

    I've told others at work, people I actually like. Ha, ha! And last night, Hubby and Jack and I went to tell his parents, who are equally as thrilled as we are. Now, we just have to tell his other brothers and sisters and we've covered everyone pretty much.

    I also made a slight miscalculation on my previous blog post. Jack and his brother/sister won't be sixteen months apart. They'll be fifteen months apart. Call me crazy, but this is the stuff dreams are made of for me. I'm blessed with great eggs and a virile husband. For me, life just doesn't get any better than this. I'm more than lucky; I've got a horseshoe up my ass...or, ahem, up somewhere else!

    Thanks again for sharing in my good news. I'm very grateful. Have a great weekend! I'll see you tomorrow.

    Thursday, September 08, 2005

    Guess What?...


    Yep, that's mine and it's NOT a bad thing at all! WOO-HOO!!! It looks like early next May will be a busy time for us. Posted by Picasa

    Baby Jack will be getting a little brother or a little sister when he's sixteen months old. How about that?

    Wednesday, September 07, 2005

    Sleep Is My Friend...

    I am so happy. I slept so well last night and so did Baby Jack. Perhaps it was the Baby Tylenol. Whatever it was, I'm glad. We all needed a good night's sleep.

    My Mom came by to relieve my Dad so he could go to the dentist. She watched the baby until I got home from work. As it turns out, Dad was supposed to have three teeth pulled and a partial put in. The dentist decided not to do it today, so he has to go back in the beginning of October. What a bummer. He was looking forward to new teeth.

    Jack had a good day and took a very good morning nap that trailed into the afternoon. He slept for three and a half hours. He was awake when I got home and I put him to sleep for his afternoon nap while my Mom made us all dinner. She's quite a lady, you know. She looks out for everyone in the family. She's our Mother Hen and we're all very lucky.

    Right now, Jack is napping, the dogs are trying to kill each other, dinner is in the oven, and I'm winding down from my day at work. It wasn't a bad day; I'm just exhausted from being a bitch to my last class. They are a rambunctious group and I can tell that they will need to be kept on a tight leash, so to speak, just to keep them focused on their studies. What do you expect from eighth-graders? We've all been there; we've all tested our boundaries. It goes with the territory.

    I'm just going to sit down and relax until my baby wakes up for his dinner. I have a feeling it's going to be a wonderful night. I can't wait to hit the pillow later, too. I hope your night is restful and your morning starts off on the right foot!

    Tuesday, September 06, 2005

    I've Been Awake Since Three This Morning...

    Why have I been awake since 3 a.m.? Baby Jack is teething and he picked a great night to have one episode after another. Today was my first day of school with students in my classroom. I had to be at the top of my game.

    I was (Thank God). I did it (Amen to getting through the day). I'm home now (So glad to be here). My Dad watched Jack while I was at work and they had a super-great day. That's all that matters, right?

    Other than that, I almost fell off my chair when I looked at my "Vote Top Blog" button (to the right at the top of my sidebar links). Apparently, I'm ranked number four out of hundreds of other blogs. Thanks for your votes, guys! My ego just got a nice little boost, even though "top blog" doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things. It's just nice to know that I could rank that high at one point. If you're feeling generous, go ahead and vote for me if you haven't already. You have to click "enter & vote," then find my blog. When you do, you need to go all the way to the last column, called "stats/votes." From there, you can rate my blog and/or leave a comment about it. Seeing that number was a nice little high point of my day. And to be honest, I don't know how much longer I'll keep that button on my blog. I've seen so many bloggers get sabotaged out of jealousy. However, this is a mostly wholesome blog. If anything, it's more honest than some of the others I've come across.

    Top Blog is nice, but it's never as important, though, as seeing my son smile when he sees me come home. I swear I thought his face was going to crack when I said, "Hello!" THAT was the best part of my day. And now he's napping soundly and maybe I should, too. (I doubt I will. I'm a highly-strung person, or at least I used to be before I had my son. A nap would do me some good, however. Maybe it's not such a bad idea, after all.)

    As always, thanks for reading! I hope you all are having a good day.

    Monday, September 05, 2005

    Jack's The Boss...

    Many of you know that my niece, Blondie, and her dog, Linus, live with me, Hubby, and Baby Jack. She went to Kansas with my Mother (her Grandma) to see her Mother (my Sister). Last night, I concocted an elaborate plan to surprise Blondie when she came home from Kansas. I was going to get up early (like 6 a.m.), shower, feed Baby Jack, get him ready to go to Grandma's house before his morning nap, and put Linus into the car and head over there. Since she'd have go straight to my Mother's house from the airport (her flight lands at around 8:30 a.m.) to get her car to be able to drive home, I figured it would be a nice surprise if she saw Linus, first thing. She would squeeze him and hug him and hold him and tell him how much she missed him. You know...all the lovable things we do with our pets.

    Well, it doesn't look like that's going to happen now.

    Baby Jack decided he was going to be wide awake at 6 a.m. That was fine with me. Since Hubby was going golfing today, he had to be up early. I was going to run over to Mom's with Linus and the baby, anyway. It wasn't a dent in the plan at all. I fed him and brought him into the bathroom with me so I could take my shower. He lays on the bathroom floor while I shower when I can't get one in before Hubby leaves. Hubby left at 6:45 a.m., so Jack had to play on the bathroom floor while I practiced my daily hygeine routine. He wasn't fussing, like he did yesterday, so that was a plus. He'd woken up about five times last night. I think he's teething. He's going to cut a tooth any day now and he's been drooling and biting down more the past few days. He usually gets up anywhere between 7 and 9 a.m. every day. Today, he awoke unusually early. He was getting sleepy on the bathroom floor, too. And...here's where my plan gets curtailed...he fell back asleep before 8 a.m.

    Well, that means that I can't get him into the car without waking him now. And I can't get to Mom's before Blondie comes back to surprise her with Linus. I'm not going to wake him up now. He's exhausted because he didn't have a restful night. He slept from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. and woke up about five times. At one point, I'd gone into his room to put his nummy back in his mouth and he was sitting up holding onto the bars of the crib! I nearly died when I saw it. He was able to use the bars (as well as the bumper pads) to pull himself to a sitting position. Boy, am I glad I lowered the mattress last week!

    My schedule revolves around Jack. He's the Boss. He tells me what I'm going to do next. I like it that way. He's almost seven months old now. He started running my life while he was in utero, so I've had plenty of time to adjust to being second. Whenever he gets up, it'll still be after Blondie's already home. Hubby will probably be home from golfing by 1 p.m. and we're taking the baby to Target. I have some stuff to return (bras; I bought them too small!) and we need dog food and other necessities. Plus, we have to put the small bassinet away and organize the downstairs bedroom. Things need to be put in their rightful places. Jack's stuff is everywhere and it feels like there's no room to move, so we're organizing later. I guess I could get a head start on it as long as I'm stuck here.

    Jack's the Boss. It's not a problem at all. He's the best boss I've ever had.

    Sunday, September 04, 2005

    Wakey, Wakey...

    I love it when my son wakes up in the morning. He's so joyful, usually. When I approach his crib and tell him, "Good morning...," he smiles so wide I think his face will crack. That, in turn, makes my face crack, as well. He's such a pleasure to see every single day. Being with my son is like winning the lottery every day.

    Yesterday, we went to my sister-in-law's for a barbecue. It was very nice and we had a good time. Jack got to play in the grass, something he can't quite do in our backyard because of the dog poop. He's discovered that he likes grass. He didn't fuss the whole time we were there. He was so good and so congenial. I love it when he's like that, which is pretty much all the time. I've never seen a baby smile as much as he does. It's amazing how happy he is.

    He's a blank slate. He knows what makes him happy and he knows no sadness. He isn't aware of the damage from the hurricane; he doesn't know about "bad" people yet; and he's oblivious to anything that doesn't involve baby food and diapers and playtime. If only our lives could be like that forever, where nothing makes you sad and nothing matters but naptime and being fed on time.

    I am so lucky to be able to watch him discover the world he lives in. Every new thing, stuff we usually take for granted, is fascinating to him. When I watch him figure something out for the first time, it's like experiencing it myself for the first time. That is where the rewards of motherhood start. It's not just the look on his face, but the light bulb that turns on in his head also, when I see him discovering his world. All of his senses are fine-tuned to his surroundings. Every bird that flies by in the sky, every squirrel that runs up the tree, every texture that touches his skin...it's all brand new.

    My son makes me stop and breathe and take in every minute life has to offer. He makes me think and relax and rejoice in what matters most. If not for him, I could be such a selfish person. With him in my life and in my heart, I am humbled. And it's all for the better, as far as I'm concerned. Every day is a blessing for me and I owe it all to my son. He is the jam in my jelly roll.

    Saturday, September 03, 2005

    In The Midst of the Devastation...

    ...hurricane refugees are committing and are victims of the unthinkable: rape. I have no words precise enough for describing how I feel about that. THIS is personal for me.

    It breaks my heart to see the babies without food or diapers. It makes me insane with grief if I think about it for too long. I'm angry that those people did not receive help quick enough. George Bush is an idiot; we all know that. Wouldn't you think that, with all the warnings that were given about Hurricane Katrina prior to its arrival on land, the government would've been better prepared to deal with its aftermath?

    Why can't the troops be pulled from Iraq to help the hurricane refugees? I realize it costs a lot of money to bring them home, but didn't it cost a lot of money to get them to Iraq? This is senseless. George Bush says there will be plenty of money to help rebuild New Orleans when the war in Iraq is over. So, what programs will he be cutting to get this money?

    I can't believe the slow response of our federal government with this natural disaster. I can't believe what's going on down there. I refuse to believe that George Bush really cares about the people affected by all of this. I can guarantee that if it had happened to Florida, the response would've been quicker. Don't even get me started on Bush having to cut his vacation short because of the hurricane.

    I have to stop now or I could go on forever about all of this. I just don't understand why it was five days before the government dropped food and water to these people. I can't stop thinking of the babies with five-day-old dirty diapers on and no food; the overwhelming grief of all those who lost their homes; the rapes going on. And if I think about it for too long, I become sad.

    I guess I'm one of the lucky millions that can just shut off the TV or radio when I hear news about it all. However, I can't ignore it. News of the hurricane devastation is like a nagging toothache. You can try to ignore it all you want, but it still hurts you until it's fixed.

    Why isn't more being done?

    Friday, September 02, 2005

    My Classroom Is Ready...

    Today at work, I spent every minute I could getting my room ready for my students. It was kind of nice, actually, to do it. I am meticulous, so you know that everything is in its rightful place now.

    It was a lot of hard work and a lot of energy on my part. But, it's official...school has begun, for me, at least.

    When I got home, Baby Jack was still up, hanging on by a thread. He needed a nap very badly, so I was able to put him to sleep in no time at all. He, of course, woke up after only about an hour. So, right now, Hubby is feeding him dinner and consoling his crankiness so I could finish some "homework" and type this blog quickly.

    Today wasn't too bad. Baby Jack woke up before I left, of course. But it was so nice to see his smiling face before I left. It made me remember why it is that I'm going to work. I still missed him terribly, though. I kept looking at his picture all day long. No matter what, he'll always be the angel I come home to every single day. I love that boy. I love him, I love him, I love him.

    *********SWITCHING GEARS DRAMATICALLY RIGHT NOW********

    A sidenote to the anonymous commentor at 1:51 a.m. from yesterday's post...

    Get the fuck out of here! I don't know you. I don't know, nor do I care, what Madman's real name is or where he works. He has a funny blog that I like to read. And you have no business posting what you think is his real name, especially on MY blog. I would greatly appreciate it if you take your beef with Madman somewhere else other than my blog. Comments like that one have no place here. And now that you've made him shut down his blog, shouldn't you just move on? You got what you wanted.

    Thursday, September 01, 2005

    Today, I Cried...

    It was much harder to leave for work this morning than it was yesterday. Why? The baby decided he wanted to get up and eat, so he woke up earlier than normal. A good thing about that is that I was able to see him and cuddle him before I went to work. A bad thing about that is that I felt myself missing him more and more, even though I hadn't left yet.

    And, of course, I cried.

    I must say that leaving today was much, much more difficult to do. I know that you're going to say that it's going to get easier, but I don't care about that. That is not what I'm feeling now. It may get easier, but I'm just not at that point yet. I'm still struggling holding back my tears every morning. And at night, I cuddle with him extra long because I know it will be hours and hours before I can do that again.

    I keep one of his already worn onesies with me in my purse at all times. When I need a Jack fix during the day, I take it out of my purse and smell it. I've also had the camera with me so that I can look at his pictures any time I want. It helps.

    Right now, I'm looking at the clock and I can't wait for my day to be over. It's 8:45 a.m. and I only have six more hours to go. Lucky me.

    If I can write more later, I'll try. I just want to get through today. Uh-oh...I can feel myself needing a Jack fix right about now...