Sunday, March 30, 2008


Got a new review up - and it's not a book this time!

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Friday, March 28, 2008

Haiku Friday

Field Trip today
about 100 4th graders
trip is 12 hours long.

What was I thinking
when I volunteered for this?
am I that insane?

Be at school at 6
herd sleepy kids on the bus
for a three hour drive.

A three hour drive?
Yup - destination that far
Williamsburg, VA

Jamestown and Yorktown
two important sites of our
American past.

Three hour drive home
back to school by 6pm
boy I sure to hope
Everyones parents
pick up their children on time
because I'm going

To a girls night out
Mommy Needs A Glass of Wine
and wow, I'll need one!!

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Growing Old Together

Ever look at your husband and notice the gray starting to sparkle in the light? And then remember way back when, when he didn't have gray because he was barely an adult? And then it hits you, you really are growing old with him, like you wanted to, and its even better than you thought it would be?

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Book Review

Come check out another book review.
Especially if you are interested in church and/or women's issues!

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I Semi Get It Now

I may have mentioned this before, my husband was on IRC 15 years ago, meeting people online and then in real life. He's a true computer geek and has been for several, several years. I always thought it was a weird way of meeting people and wasn't he scared that they might be dangerous people. He never was. He's also been a huge fan of playing various on-line and off-line video games. Which, truly I don't mind - I get to read or sleep or scrapbook or do what I want interrupted too.

Fast forward to last night.

He's down in the basement playing away. And making some pretty funny (and not so funny) comments loud enough that I can hear him upstairs. So I head down to see what's going on. He's like a little kid in a toy store, truly enjoying himself playing some game on-line.

I comment that ya know, 15 years ago I thought you were crazy for talking with people on line and then meeting them in real life. But now I'm doing that and loving it too. So, does this mean that in 15 years or so I might actually enjoy these games too?

He replies Um, no, you'll never like these games. But at least you semi-get it now.

Yes, I do. I finally get the obsession for sitting at the computer for hours on end and interacting with people.

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Haiku Friday

Spring break is this week
early, but so is Easter
one week with no school.

Kid is home all week
Playstation, Wi and DS
playing with his friends.

How did we grow up
without this entertainment
in our daily lives?

My son is in awe
that to change a channel we
walked to the tv!

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Meme Time

ImposterMom has a meme on her blog that she tagged everyone on. So, because my brain is fried from work and class today, and I have no real content because I'm sure you don't want to hear about my work and my class, I'll play the meme instead:

Here’s the rules:

Here’s the rules:

-You must post the rules on your blog before you answer the questions.
-You need to list one fact about yourself using each letter of your middle name. If you don’t have a middle name use your maiden name instead.
-When you are finished with your answers, you tag one person for each letter of your name.

Extra pounds to lose, aging metabolism sucks
Living life as it is
Independent, but also possibly considered stubborn
Always sleepy and trying to fit a nap into my schedule
Bike riding is my favorite exercise
Eating too much is directly related to the 'E' above
Teacher of children on the Autism Spectrum
Happily married with child

Like ImposterMom, I too am going to be a rebel and break the rules. Who else is up for this? Leave a comment!

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Guilty of Guilt

Today, the bloggers at Silicon Valley Moms, Chicago Moms, New York Moms, and DC Metro Moms Blog are sharing stories about our personal parenting guilt.

Although not unique and certainly shared by several others, I thought I'd share the guilt I have experienced while being a parent.

Mine started right away. About a week after I took that test to confirm I was pregnant.

I'm guilty of hating being pregnant. And it tore me up. How could I hate it? I so desperately wanted this child as did my husband. I was creating a life and I was miserable. And I should have been overjoyed and excited.

My acne flared up to outrageous levels all over my face, chest and back. I couldn't stand to look at myself in the mirror. I didn't have the glowing pregnant skin to make me feel beautiful as I created life.

Then the morning sickness began about a week after the pregnancy test. And continued. And continued. E.V.E.R.Y freaking day until 5 weeks before Son's due date. Then it finally started dissipating. Some mornings I didn't make that all so familiar dash to the toilet.

After being dilated 4cm for approximately 3 weeks Son turned breech. He ended up being a planned C-section. After confirming he was breech and realizing I wouldn't get to experience natural birth I said to the doctor, well, fine; since it's a scheduled C, and my due date is in 4 days, let's get him out. But no. My primary doctor was on vacation for a week. And out of respect for HER they would let her do the surgery. But, should I go into labor I was to get to the ER immediately as it would be an emergency c-sec. My last shot at enjoying pregnancy by having that perfect natural birth was gone.

Now, I realize there are WAY more difficult and traumatic pregnancy and birth stories out there. This wasn't meant to come across as whining and complaining. I knew it wasn't all going to be easy and comfortable. But I do feel guilty that I did not enjoy my pregnancy, and not only didn't enjoy it, absolutely hated it. The guilt is still here 9 years after that I did not enjoy being pregnant.

Little did I know that was the first of many parenting guilts.

Parenting guilt also hit big time last year. As a teacher there is a common misconception that teachers have bunches of time off - home early, week at Christmas and Easter, summers off. It sure was a huge lure to me for balancing work and family successfully.

But in reality, a teachers job does not end at 3pm. I spent on average 15 additional hours in the evenings and weekend making tasks for my students, creating lesson plans and activities and completing paperwork.

My husband would come home from his 40 hour a week job and be done. I was never able to do that.

Slowly, that guilt about working so much and juggling that work/family/home life/housework got to me. So much, that last year my PTA hosted Devra to talk about Mommy Guilt at one of our meetings. (This was before I knew Devra too - this may be a big county, but it's still a small world in the end). I wanted to go. I knew I needed to go. But I didn't. I had already spent so much outside-of-work-hours working in the past few weeks that I just couldn't go out in the evening and not spend time from my son one.more.time. So I didn't go.

However, realizing that I had hit a new level of Mommy Guilt and had also not been happy teaching for a few years my husband and I sat down to evaluate our lives.

In the end we decided that working as much as I did wasn't worth it if I was miserable and it was taking that much time away from being a family. We used the remainder of the school year to put away some money. I took this year off to see if I could find something part-time, if it would work financially and find a better balance. We knew we could do it for a year and would revisit the topic after a year.

Well, it's been a year. Financially it's been OK. I've found a part-time job during school hours. I've taken a huge pay cut. We've learned to make several cutbacks and done without. But that's OK. The positives have been incredible! I"m more relaxed. My husband is more relaxed. And our son is thriving. He loves having both his parents available to him once work is done. He loves not having to camp out in my classroom before and after school. There is more time to do housework. There is more time to read with my son and snuggle with him. There is more time to read and take up hobbies. There is more time to, um, blog. And there is more energy for, um, after Son is asleep activities.

We've decided that for us, we aren't going to try to keep up with the Jones anymore. We're downsizing and cutting back. But, we have found a balance of juggling work and family. We have said goodbye to parenting guilt.

**End note - after meeting Devra through DC Metro Moms and sharing with her how I did not attend her Mommy Guilt talk at my school because I was feeling too guilty about time spend away from my Son she convinced me to read her book. I"m glad I did! I had already started making changes to rid that guilt, but her and Avivia's book put the icing on the cake for me.

Original DC Metro Moms Post, also crossposted to MyLifeAsItIs.

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Haiku Friday

Spring is finally
showing its colors and warmth
after cold winter

Time to put away
all mittens, scarfs and snow boots
until next winter

The sounds of children
laughing and playing outside
enjoying the sun
On my review blog
you'll find three great books to see
Don't be shy, go there!

And go here for more Haiku's!

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Oh how I wish I was still in bed. The week after Day Light Savings is always so hard on the body!
Come join in the fun.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Remember What You're Teacher Told You - There's Never A Question That's A Bad Question

Remember when your teacher said there is never a bad question? Never be embarrassed to ask a question?

Well, the other night we were eating at Red Robin's. It's been a while since all 3 of us have eaten out at a restaurant. With Son being GF/CF it's been a fairly easy transition at home, but one we're still navigating in the world of fast food and restaurants.Usually when we go out Son has a hamburger, no bread and a fruit side unless we know the fries are GF/CF.

So, back to Red Robin. I had asked for a second basket of fries. Son thought it was pretty neat they give refills on the fries. He then asked for a refill on his drink. So, when the waiter brought him his 2nd drink he blurts out, "Can I have a refill on my burger too?" Oh the embarrassment! Didn't I raise my son better? But, before I got a chance to tell Son that he shouldn't have asked that the waiter says, "Sure!". I looked at him, Really? Yup.

Red Robin not only offers sides of apple slices, melon wedges, baby carrots & ranch dip, Mandarin oranges, fries or a side salad, they also give refills on kids meals! He said this is not anything they will really advertise, but they have always done this.

Wow! Refills on kids meals, plenty of fresh fruit and veges for sides on kids meals, and bottomless baskets of fries?!? It may not be a fancy place, but it sure works for us!!

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Monday, March 10, 2008

My Twin

My twin!!
She's got a great blog too (but what else would you expect from someone who is my twin!) - go check it out!

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Friday, March 7, 2008

Haiku Friday

A quiet week on
my blog with not many posts.
What's going on here?

Started a new job
House is back on the market
Midterms are real soon

Liking my new job
Hoping the house sells real fast
Studying for test

So, now you're caught up
on what I've been up to on

Hope your week has been
A good kind of busy, and
enjoy your weekends!

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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Handling A Crisis With Kids

I have just finished reading In An Instant: A Familiy's Journey of Love and Helaing, written by Lee and Bob Woodruff. Look for the review coming soon!

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy reading this article, written by Lee Woodruff and reprinted with permision:

Handling a Crisis With Kids
By Lee Woodruff, author of In An Instant

“Tell the truth,” we always say to our kids when faced with their little transgressions, white lies or downright omissions of the facts.

Yet when a bomb in Iraq critically injured my husband, and my children needed some answers, I found myself in the difficult position of deciding just what they needed to know, what to withhold, and how to tell them.

Naturally, every parent is the best judge of their own child and knows intrinsically how to speak to them. But rocking a child’s world with bad news or fearful information was new to me. I have learned a great deal on my journey during the past two years about dealing with difficulty and I wanted to share some of my wisdom.

1) When speaking to your children about difficult or uncertain situations, hold hope and realism in equal measure. My husband was in a coma that lasted 36 days and during that time there were many question marks. I vowed I would never lie to the kids or fill them with false hope. But when they would ask me what Daddy would be like, or how he would recover, I said, “We don’t know exactly what Daddy will be like but I believe in my heart he will be OK.”

I found a phrase that held out some hope while sparing them the intricate details and some of the possible outcomes for their Dad. Most importantly, I wanted to protect my kids from all of the bumps and sharp turns I myself was going through with the roller coaster medical situation.

2) I frequently asked my children how they were doing and sometimes they asked questions. It was important for them to know that I was always ready to listen and patiently answer their questions, even if I was feeling like I didn’t have one ounce of energy left in my body to do so.

3) I offered my kids the chance to talk to a psychiatrist, minister, someone other than me. They never took me up on the offer but I wanted them to know there were other outlets if they felt they couldn’t express their pain or fear in front of me. There were well aware of how much I had on my plate. I never forced the issue and always followed their lead.

4) Hide your fears. My kids took every cue from me and I knew it would be harder for them if they saw me breaking down or railing at the world or worse yet, terrified. I knew my children needed to see me as strong and in control, especially with parent out of the picture indefinitely. It’s ok to cry in front of them—you are human, but histrionics are not going to have any positive effect.

5) Keep as much to the daily routine as possible. I was separated from my children for 5 weeks, seeing them on weekends. It was extremely hard to be away from them, but what I realized was that bringing them down to Washington to be with me would be the worst thing I could do. They needed to stick to their routine, see their friends, keep their after school activities in place—all of that was “normal” to them.

6) When the going is rough—help your kids live hour by hour. That was some of the best advice I got from someone else. At certain critical points in a crisis, even day-to-day is too long. Keep their focus off their fear of the future. I tried to stay in the present and help my children focus on their day, their homework and their busy schedules.

7) Sometimes it does help to visualize the future. At bedtime, when they might be especially sad or tense, I would have my kids picture us all together as a family that coming summer, or imagine how great it would feel when we got Dad back at the dinner table. I tired to help them find small moments that didn’t over promise too much.

And lastly – love, love, love—shower them with love. You can err by smothering, hovering and over-indulging, but I don’t believe there is any such thing as too much unconditional love.

AuthorLee Woodruff is a public relations executive and freelance writer.

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Senior Moments Already?

Do you ever lie in bed at night thinking of creative or almost creative topics to blog about, and then in the morning can't remember a single thing to blog about?

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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Spring Is Springing

The one thing I absolutely love about winter is wearing turtlenecks, sweatshirts and sweatpants. I find them to be the most comfortable clothing in the world - even more so than PJ's.

Yet, yesterday it hit 70 degrees. Definitely too warm for winter attire. But it was OK. I"m ready to pack those winter clothes up until next winter.

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